Between 2019 and 2021, Volvo will unveil five new electric car models, and make sure the rest of its range has a hybrid engine. The shift represents the biggest leap by a major automaker away from traditional internal combustion engines.
“This is about the customer,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive in a statement. “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, which has been owned by the Chinese company Geely since 2010, doesn’t currently have an electric vehicle on the market, but does sell hybrid models that can run on a battery engine for a few miles and then switch to a conventional engine. That is all about to change with the company’s new direction.
“This announcement marks the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car,” said Samuelsson. “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.”
The company will still be manufacturing its existing cars with internal combustible engines, but the move away from the traditional type of vehicle will be part of a larger effort by regulators in Europe and beyond to lower emissions from cars.
When Volvo does enter the electric car market, it will go up against Elon Musk’s Tesla. Musk recently announced that its Tesla Model 3 will be ready this week. The Tesla Model 3 is intended to have the most widespread appeal of any of the company’s cars yet, costing from $35,000, less than half of the Model S.