Volvo has announced that the company is planning to phase out powertrains with the internal combustion engine. This makes Volvo the first car manufacturer to abandon a technology that was has been used by car manufacturers for over 100 years.
The growing demand for electric models like the Model 3, of which Tesla will begin production this week has prompted Volvo to declare that all the cars produced by Volvo from 2019 would either be fully electric or hybrid.
Hakan Samuelsson, the president and chief executive of Volvo Cars, said in a statement that the move “marks the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car” for Volvo and reiterated Volvo’s goal of selling one million electric cars and hybrids by 2025.Volvo has plans to launch five new electric and hybrid vehicles between 2019 and 2021. Of these, two will be made by Polestar, which Volvo recently spun off as a separate company to specialize in high-performance electric vehicles.
Most major car manufacturers are transitioning to electric vehicles, but the key challenge for the industry is to make the switch at the right time as normally it takes several years for a car manufacturer to research, design and build a model. Many automakers are waiting for technology and demand to evolve to the point where the cost of making an EV would be similar or even lower than that of making a conventional car. When it reaches this point, there will be a sudden spurt in demand for EVs and we will see many more such models being launched.
Meanwhile, the cost of vehicles powered by combustion engines is increasing as emission norms and fuel economy standards become more stringent. Experts estimate that ever-stricter emissions regulations could make some electric models more affordable as soon as 2025. For example, the Tesla Model 3 with a starting price of USD 35,000 is just a little pricier than a BMW AG’s 3-Series sedan having a gasoline or diesel engine.
Volvo is on the growth and experienced a significant turnaround in its fortunes after Ford sold it to Geely. The company is now building its first manufacturing facility in the US, which was Volvo’s fastest growing market in 2016, spurred by the growing popularity of the XC90 luxury SUV.
Manju Mathew, an MBA in marketing, completed publisher training courses from the Oxford Brookes University and New York University. She started with marketing and PR roles before moving on to her current position as a full time writer. Currently living in Dubai, her life as an expat has sharpened her observation skills and flair for writing. She enjoys writing about luxury cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc even if she can only dream of owning them.
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