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All New Volvo Models From 2019 Will Be Electric, Say The Company

All New Volvo Models From 2019 Will Be Electric, Say The Company
The first major traditional automaker to set a date for phasing out vehicles powered solely by the internal combustion engine is Volvo as the Chinese owned company announced that all of its car models launched after 2019 will be electric or hybrids.
While its move signals the eventual end of nearly a century of Volvos powered solely that way, the Sweden-based company will continue to produce pure combustion-engine Volvos from models launched before that date.
Electric and hybrid vehicles gaining ground at the premium end of the market, even though such vehicles are still only a small fraction of new cars sales. In that market Elon Musk's Tesla Motors has been a pure-play battery carmaker from day one and it is the same market where Volvo operates. Many in the industry expect mass-market adoption to follow as technology improves and prices fall.
"This announcement marks the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car," Volvo Cars CEO Hakan Samuelsson said.
Set to be launched in 2019 through 2021 are five new models and three of them Volvos and two Polestar-branded, would be completely electric, said the company, owned by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group.
"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," Volvo said. "This means that there will in future be no Volvo cars without an electric motor."
Samuelsson said that while development costs will be met from within its existing budget, Volvo factories in Europe and China and the one being built in the United States, would be the places where the electric models will be produced at.
"This also means we won't be doing other things. We of course will not be developing completely new generations of combustion engines," he said about future investment needs.
Volvo has established a niche in a premium auto market dominated by larger rivals such as Daimler's Mercedes-Benz and BMW and since being bought by Geely from Ford in 2010, the company has invested heavily in new models and plants.
Emerging technologies that allow higher performance electric vehicles as well as, eventually, self-driving cars is one aspect that the company has embraced as part of its strategy.
Focused on high-performance electric cars aimed at competing with Tesla and the Mercedes AMG division, it would reshape its Polestar business into a standalone brand, Volvo said only last month.
Its first fully electric car will be available for sale in 2019 and exported globally and will be made in China based on its architecture for smaller cars, Volvo has also said.
Sill, among premium brands in resorting to 48V mild hybrid systems to lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions from their combustion-engine cars or among those traditional carmakers in pushing strongly into electrics and plug-ins, Volvo is not alone.
Handelsblatt reported last month that in order to meet the challenge from Tesla, BMW plans to introduce an electric version of its popular 3 series in September.
Though the company has said no decision on an IPO has been made, but through the sale of newly issued preference shares last year, Volvo raised 5 billion crowns from Swedish institutional investors, which are steps towards an eventual listing.
"It is still an option and a question for our owner," Samuelsson said.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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