Volvo is the first major car manufacturer to commit to phasing out the internal combustion engine (ICE) and embrace electrification.
The Swedish company has announced that every automobile it launches from 2019 onward will have an electric motor, paving the way for “a new chapter in automotive history.”
Volvo will introduce a range of electric models, embracing both fully electric cars and plug-in hybrid cars, as well as mild hybrid cars, which have ICEs equipped with an electric motor or generator that allows the engine to turn off whenever the car is coasting, braking or stopped.
In particular, 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’s performance car sub-brand, the company says. All five will be supplemented by “a range of petrol and diesel plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid 48 volt options” on all models, although full details will be announced later.
“This is about the customer,” says Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo, in a July 5 press release. “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.”
The company says this means that in the future, there will be no Volvo cars without an electric motor, and pure ICE cars will be gradually phased out.
“This announcement marks the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car,” Samuelsson adds. “Volvo Cars has stated that it plans to have sold a total of 1m electrified cars by 2025. When we said it we meant it. This is how we are going to do it.”
This announcement emphasizes Volvo’s commitment to minimizing its environmental impact, with the company aiming to reach “climate neutral manufacturing operations” by 2025.
Volvo also broke the news earlier this month that Polestar will be turned into a separately-branded “electrified global high performance car company,” led by Thomas Ingenlath, who was previously a senior vice president of design at Volvo.
Volvo’s decision comes as other car manufacturers’ toy with the idea of electrification, such as Volkswagen. ITWC got a chance to speak with the company and their electrification journey, as per the video below.