Volvo has announced every new car it launches will only be available as an electric or hybrid from 2019.
That means no matter whether you go for the XC90, XC60 or whatever Volvo is offered at that time, you will be able to have it with some level of electrification, which means lower CO2 emissions and potentially better fuel economy.
“People increasingly demand electrified cars and we want to respond to our customers’ current and future needs,” said Volvo president and chief executive, Hakan Samuelsson.
“This announcement marks the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car. Volvo has stated that it plans to have sold a total of one million electrified cars by 2025. When we said it we meant it. This is how we are going to do it,” he added.
If you think the announcement is a bit soft given that rival manufacturers such as Lexus already offer a considerable portion of their vehicles as hybrids, Volvo will also launch five all-electric models between 2019 and 2021.
Three of the all-electric cars will be your typical cruisers, Volvo said, while the other two will be Polestar performance variants for those who still care about going fast.
New car sales figures show Samuelsson has a point about customer demand for eco-friendlier cars. While diesel and petrol cars took a plunge in June, 2017, alternative fuel vehicle sales increased 4.4 per cent despite the Government making the full plug-in grant harder to obtain.
There are a five Volvos on sale already available as a hybrid, including the S90, V90, XC60 and XC90. The T8 Twin Engine hybrid option in all those models combines an electric motor and a 2.0-litre petrol.
Uptake of hybrid Volvs was higher than expected, with them accounting for a quarter of all XC90 sales in the last year as opposed to the forecast of between five and ten per cent.
Worldwide sales of electric cars broke the two-million unit milestone in 2016 – a significant achievement when you consider 2005 saw a figure in the hundreds.
Other manufacturers are already pushing electric vehicles hard. Tesla will soon offer its Model 3, which is a smaller, more affordable version of the Model S, while Jaguar will soon offer its all-electric I-Pace.
Though electric cars are clean at a local level, critics have expressed concern at the strain it will put on other areas of the process – such as battery production and associated mining – and the need to generate more electricity to cope with the increased demand.
Swedish manufacturer Volvo is owned by Chinese automotive giant, Geely.