Volvo announces plans to go all-electric from 2019
Other vehicle manufacturers are said to be considering their options after premium carmaker, Volvo Cars, announced that every car it launches from 2019 will have an electric motor.
The news, said Volvo, marked the historic end of cars that only have an internal combustion engine (ICE) and placed electrification at the core of its future business.
The announcement represents one of the most significant moves by any carmaker to embrace electrification and highlights how, over a century after the invention of the internal combustion engine, electrification is paving the way for a new chapter in automotive history, said Volvo.
Volvo Cars is one of the most well-known and respected car brands in the world with sales of 534,332 cars in 2016 in about 100 countries. The company has been under the ownership of the Zhejiang Geely Holding of China since 2010.
“This is about the customer,” said Håkan Samuelsson, 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.”
Volvo Cars will introduce a portfolio of electrified cars across its model range, embracing fully electric cars, plug in hybrid cars and mild hybrid cars.
It will launch five fully electric cars between 2019 and 2021, three of which will be Volvo models and two of which will be high performance electrified cars from Polestar, Volvo Cars’ performance car arm. Full details of these models will be announced at a later date.
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, representing one of the broadest electrified car offerings of any car maker.
This means that there will in future be no Volvo cars without an electric motor, as pure ICE cars are gradually phased out and replaced by ICE cars that are enhanced with electrified options.
“This announcement marks the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car,” said Mr 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 announcement underlines Volvo Cars’ commitment to minimising its environmental impact and making the cities of the future cleaner. Volvo Cars is focused on reducing the carbon emissions of both its products as well as its operations. It aims to have climate neutral manufacturing operations by 2025.
The decision also follows this month’s announcement that Volvo Cars will turn Polestar into a new separately-branded electrified global high performance car company. Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President Design at Volvo Cars, will lead Polestar as Chief Executive Officer.
Volvo remains on course for another record year after posting an 8.2% increase in global sales for the first six months of the year. Total first half global sales amounted to 277,641 cars, compared to 256,563 cars in the first half of last year.
In June, global sales came in at 54,351 cars, an increase of 5.7% compared to the same month last year.
Strong demand for the new 90 series was a key factor in the positive sales performance, while the first generation XC60 remained the best-selling model overall.
The Asia Pacific region reported sales growth of 27.3% in June to 13,769 cars. Sales in China, Volvo’s largest market, increased by 30.9% to 10,113 cars.
For the first six months of 2017, growth in the Asia Pacific region amounted to 22.6%, while China was up 27.6% for the period. The result was supported by strong demand for the locally-produced XC60, S60L and S90 models.
First-half sales in the EMEA region were up by 6.6% to 164,128 cars sold, as the region continued to see strong demand for the new V90 and XC90 as well as the XC60.
Strongly performing markets included Sweden, the UK, France and Germany. June sales in the region were up 3.9% to 31,678 new cars.
The Americas region reported sales of 41,277 cars for the first six months of 2017, of which 34,102 were in the United States. The most popular model in the region was the XC90, followed closely by the XC60.
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