Volvo says that every car it launches from 2019 will have an electric motor, marking the historic end of models that have only an internal combustion engine and placing electrification at the core of its future business.
The announcement represents one of the most significant moves by any car maker to embrace electrification, and highlights how, over a century after the invention of the internal combustion engine, electrification is paving the way for a new chapter in automotive history.
Volvo’s announcement comes with the UK government investing hundreds of millions of pounds in encouraging business and retail uptake of plug-in vehicles through a range of fiscal measures including tax incentives and grants to offset the cost of buying vehicles and recharging points.
The government’s ambition is for all new vans and cars to be zero emission by 2040 – the transformation to a wholly electric car and van parc is expected to be completed by 2050.
In announcing Volvo’s move, Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars, said: “This is about the customer. People increasingly demand electrified cars, and we want to respond to our customers’ current and future needs. You can now pick and choose whichever electrified Volvo you wish.”
Volvo Cars will introduce a portfolio of electrified cars across its model range, embracing fully electric cars, plug-in hybrid cars and mild-hybrid cars.
It will launch five fully electric cars between 2019 and 2021, three of which will be Volvo models and two of which will be high-performance electrified cars from Polestar, Volvo Cars’ performance car arm. Full details of the models will be announced at a later date.
Those five cars will be supplemented by a range of petrol and diesel plug-in hybrid and mild-hybrid 48-volt options on all models, representing one of the broadest electrified car offerings of any car maker.
It means that there will in future be no Volvo cars without an electric motor, as pure petrol and diesel cars are gradually phased out and replaced by internal combustion engine cars that are enhanced with electrified options.
“This announcement marks the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car,” said Mr Samuelsson. “Volvo Cars has stated that it plans to have sold a total of one million electrified cars by 2025. When we said it we meant it. This is how we are going to do it.”
The announcement also underlines Volvo Cars’ commitment to minimising its environmental impact and making the cities of the future cleaner. Volvo Cars says it is focused on reducing the carbon emissions of both its products as well as its operations. It aims to have climate-neutral manufacturing operations by 2025.
The decision also follows this month’s announcement that Volvo Cars will turn Polestar into a new separately branded electrified global high-performance car company.