Volvo To Sell Only Hybrids in 2019; Promises 5 EVs by 2021
Bye-bye gasoline- and diesel-only drivetrains!by Ciprian Florea, on
Swedish automaker Volvo has just announced that every car it launches from 2019 onward will have an electric motor, in a move to gradually phase out and replace internal combustion engines with more efficient and environmentally friendly drivetrains. While this doesn’t mean that Volvo will give up on gasoline and diesel engines altogether, it will make it the first premium carmaker that puts an electric motor in each and every vehicle in its lineup. And on top of turning its current cars into hybrids, Volvo also plans to launch five all-electric vehicles between 2019 and 2021. Not many details are available, but Volvo says three will be Volvo models, while to will be high-performance Polestar versions.
The firm added that these five cars will be supplemented by a range of gasoline and diesel plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid options on all models, which confirms that the EVs will be built on the current scalable platforms, meaning they will carry familiar nameplates. Expect a hatchback, a sedan, and a crossover to be the first to gain all-electric drivetrains. “This is about the customer,” said Håkan Samuelsson, Volvo president and chief executive. “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.”
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Why it Matters?
Switching to hybrid drivetrains only seems like the next logical step for the Swedish brand
While Volvo isn’t the first automaker to take the electrification route, it’s the first to actually commit to no longer offer gasoline- and diesel-only vehicles. This is a big deal as most carmakers find it difficult to give up on internal combustion engines, which are still in high demand, especially in the high-performance market. And, if the past is any indication, Volvo will achieve this goal, much as it did with phasing out large-displacement, six- and eight-cylinder engines. In 2013, Volvo described V-8 engines as "dinosaurs" and pledged to eliminate all large-displacement engines from its lineup. Come 2017, and all new Volvo vehicles feature four-cylinder engines only, some backed by electric motors in plug-in hybrid versions.
Switching to hybrid drivetrains only seems like the next logical step for the Swedish brand, which now wants to dramatically reduce its carbon footprint. It’s quite the quick transformation for a brand that was still offering a V-8 in the XC90 back in 2014. And if this radical commitment is any indication, it won’t be long until Volvo announces a switch to all-electric drivetrains only. Meanwhile, all we can hope is that Volvo’s decision will inspire other major automakers to adopt electrification.