Volvo said in an announcement that it plans to make sell only electric cars from the year 2019, making it the first major traditional automaker to set a date for phasing out vehicles powered solely by the internal combustion engine. As technology improves and prices fall, many in the industry expect mass-market adoption to follow.
The Zhejiang Geely Holding Group owned, company has set a target to launch 5 models, out of which three of them would be Volvos and two Polestar-branded by 2019 t0 2021. These five cars will be supplemented by a range of petrol and diesel plug in hybrid and mild hybrid 48 volt options on all models.
"We're talking about customers," says President and CEO Håkan Samuelsson."Electric vehicles are increasingly in demand and we are looking to meet the current and future needs of our customers. Now these have the free choice from all new Volvo models."
Volvo has invested heavily in new models and plants since being bought by Geely from Ford in 2010, establishing a niche in a premium auto market which was more predominately held by BMW or Mercedes.
The first electric car will be introduced in China based on its architecture. After that it will be fully introduced in the open market by 2019.
Following the lead of Volvo BMW plans to introduce an electric version of its popular 3 series in September.