All Volvo auto models launched after 2019 will be electric or hybrids, the Chinese-owned company said on Wednesday, making it the first major traditional automaker to set a date for phasing out vehicles powered exclusively by the internal combustion engine. CEO Hakan Samuelsson said the shift to electric motors would "strengthen our brand image, which is a lot about protecting what is important for you (customers)".
"We are looking at more suppliers in the market today and that will be a key part of being competitive going forward - to always stick with the most successful and innovative supplier" at the time, said Henrik Green, senior vice president in research and development.
Still, Volvo is not alone among traditional carmakers in pushing strongly into electrics and plug-ins - or among premium brands in resorting to 48V mild hybrid systems to lower fuel consumption and Carbon dioxide emissions from their combustion-engine cars.
Such systems generate enough electricity to allow automakers to move functions such as air conditioners and water and oil pumps to electric power, getting rid of mechanical belts that are a drag on the engine. None of his vehicles used fossil fuel.
Tesla electric vehicles are on display in a Beijing showroom. Close Tesla electric vehicles are on display in a Beijing showroom
Fully electric and hybrid vehicle sales have risen a little since 2012 but still accounted for only 2.6 million, or about 3 percent of worldwide new vehicle sales, last year. That's about 9 percent of sales. In addition, the company has also said that it plans to launch five fully electric auto models between 2019 and 2021. It also plans to offer a range of hybrids as options on all models.
The Volvo announcement follows the reveal of Tesla's Model 3, the most affordable vehicle yet from the electric-only automaker. "Things have moved faster; customer demand is increasing".
Samuelsson, who acknowledged that the company had been skeptical about electrification only two years ago, said circumstances have changed. "A new generation of battery cars will have a longer range - around 400 kilometers - so people won't need to worry in the same way that their vehicle will run out of juice".
Automaker Volvo has just announced that it is switching all operations over to electrical vehicles and, as such, will no longer manufacture combustion-only cars, starting in 2019. "This means that there will in future be no Volvo cars without an electric motor".
LG's Q2 profits lower than expected, struggling mobile division to blame
Revenue likely rose 3.9 percent to 14.6 trillion won, also lower than the 15.1 trillion won SmartEstimate. LG Electronics' shares finished Friday down 4.15 percent at 73,900 won.
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