The Chinese-owned and Sweden-based car manufacturer Volvo announced on Wednesday that it will completely phase off combustion engine cars by 2019, switching completely to electric and hybrid motors.
The company’s decision was pronounced a “historic” commitment to carbon-free mobility, Chief Executive Håkan Samuelsson told Swedish Radio.
Volvo aims to sell a million electric cars by 2025, that is, almost double its current production. That is a huge leap for Volvo, considering that the Sweden-based manufacturer produces no electric car at the moment.
Volvo’s Swedish brand is mostly been known as a leader in driver safety, but the company is a beginner in electric motors. However, Volvo’s parent Chinese company, Geely, has been investing on electric motor technology for over a decade.
Volvo’s plan is to enter the market with five fully electric models from 2019 to 2021. A range of hybrid models using gas will also be on offer. The new engines will meet increasingly more demanding EU regulation, which calls on EU manufacturers to deliver CO2 emission no higher than 95g per kilometer by 2021.
Meanwhile, the US technology leader Tesla announced last Sunday that it will begin delivering its first mass-market model (Model 3) by the end of July, aiming to manufacture 20,000 within 2017. The company projects sales of 500,000 vehicles by 2018, NBC reports. Tesla has yet to make a profit, but as a technology leader it’s market value is higher than Ford’s and certainly Volvo’s.
BMW is expected to reveal an all-electric version of its 3-Series, while Mercedes-Benz is about the launch the Mercedes-EQ battery-powered series, BBC reports. But, virtually every single traditional manufacturer is trying to catch up, including Audi, Lamborghini, Porsche, and Aston Martin.