Electric cars are here to stay – and Volvo is preparing to fully embrace this eco-friendly technology in a matter of just a few years.
In an announcement on July 5, the popular Chinese-owned car company shared plans to introduce a portfolio of cars with electric motors across its entire model range. The aim is that after the year 2019, every Volvo launched will be equipped with either a fully electric, or hybrid motor.
“The announcement represents one of the most significant moves by any car maker to embrace electrification,” the company stated via press release. Volvo president and chief executive Håkan Samuelsson explained that the decision was influenced by the shifting demands of auto buyers. “This is about the customer,” he said. “People increasingly demand electrified cars and we want to respond to our customers’ current and future needs.”
The transition to a combustion-free future will involve phasing out internal combustion engine (ICE) cars, replacing them with ICEl vehicles that have been enhanced with electric technology. Volvo will also launch a lineup of fully electric cars between 2019 and 2021, the details of which will be released at a later date. To provide options and versatility to customers, a range of hybrid options will also be released to supplement the fully electric vehicles. These will comprise gas and diesel plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid options, available on all models offered by Volvo. Said Samuelsson, “You can now pick and choose whichever electrified Volvo you wish.”
This bold move is part of Volvo’s strategic plan to achieve their goal of selling 1 million electric cars by the year 2025. “When we said it we meant it,” said Samuelsson. “This announcement marks the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car.”
In addition to sales goals, Volvo is also committing to having a cleaner footprint in the future. The decision to transition to a fully electric lineup is part of the company’s focus on reducing carbon emissions of both its products, and their operations, to minimize environmental impact. They aim to have their manufacturing operations fully climate neutral by the year 2025.
While electric cars still represent a smaller share of the overall automotive market, they are steadily gaining ground – especially with higher-end audiences. As more carmakers follow suit, the technology will become more widely available, driving down prices and making electric cars more attainable to the average buyer.
“Electrification is paving the way for a new chapter in automotive history,” stated Volvo in their press release. If this latest initiative is any indication, we can hopefully look forward to many more environmentally-friendly auto options in future years.