Volvo will become the first major car manufacturer to go all electric, with the Swedish company saying that every car in its range will have an electric power train available from 2019.
The company said the announcement marks “the historic end” of cars solely powered by petrol or diesel and “places electrification at the core of its future business”.
“This is about the customer,” said Håkan Samuelsson, chief executive. “People increasingly demand electrified cars and we want to respond to our customers’ current and future needs.”
Premium car manufacturer Volvo - which is owned by China’s Geely - will launch five fully electric cars across its range between 2019 and 2021.
Two of these new cars will be in the company’s Polestar high performance sub-brand, which is being revived.
The rest of the company’s range will be available with “plug-in hybrid” power trains, meaning customers will be able to specify an environmentally friendly option on all Volvo cars.
“This announcement marks the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car,” said Mr Samuelsson. “We have said we plan 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.”
Historically, Volvo has been at the forefront of new automotive technology in its 90-year life, with innovations such as the first three-point seat belts and other safety systems.
In recent years it has focused on self-driving, and has stated that its vision for 2020 is that no person will be killed by a new Volvo because of their enhanced safety systems.
Geely bought Volvo in 2010 for $1.8bn from Ford, under whose ownership sales fell and it incurred losses. The Chinese owner poured investment into new models, technology and facilities.
Ford itself paid $6.45bn for Volvo back in 1999 when the car operations were spun off from the wider Volvo business, but could not find a place for the marque in its stable.
Under Geely’s ownership Volvo has enjoyed a resurgence, and in its last annual results posted sales 6.2pc higher to a record 534,000, driving revenues 10pc up to SEK 180bn (£16.2bn) and operating profit up 66pc to £990m.
Volvo’s announcement comes in the same week that Tesla announced its low-cost Model 3 electric car will go sale.
The latest Tesla car is aimed at bringing electric cars to the mass market, rather than being the preserve of early adopters of technology or those with deep pockets.
Billionaire Elon Musk hopes that his company’s latest car - which is priced at about $35,000 in the US though a tax rebate will reduce this by about $5,000 - will drive Tesla from a niche item to a mainstream product.
Source: MSN, 2017
Thursday Jul 6, 2017