Gassed: Volvo Ditches Combustion For New-Age Tech

By: Allison Perrine July 20, 2017
Volvo recently announced plans to switch its new production to strictly hybrid or electric-only vehicles.
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Starting in 2019, all of Volvo’s new and redesigned models will be electric or hybrid. Company officials aim to sell 1 million of these cars by 2025 in hopes of creating a healthier environment.

The Swedish automaker announced the change in a July 5 press release. Volvo is the first premium automaker to go completely in this direction, though various other companies, such as Tesla, have always been electric-only.

“This announcement marks the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car,” said Volvo Chief Executive Officer Håkan Samuelsson. “People increasingly demand electrified cars and we want to respond to our customers’ current and future needs.”

Volvo will release five fully electric cars between 2019 and 2021—three Volvo models and two Polestar models, Volvo’s performance brand.

Potential benefits of weaning off of traditional petroleum vehicles include a healthier environment and decreased fossil fuel dependency.

“This is a bold move, but it is not as bold as it sounds at first blush, because hybrid vehicles use internal combustion engines for a substantial portion of the time they are in operation,” said Jack Nerad, Kelley Blue Book’s executive market analyst.

Volvo officials have been hesitant about going hybrid and electric for years; but, as Samuelsson noted, things change as time goes by. “Things have moved faster; customer demand is increasing,” he added. “This is an attractive car people want to have.”

However, it could take years for combustion engine-only vehicles to disappear at Volvo, as the automaker will build them through 2019. It is possible that Volvo dealerships will only begin exclusively selling hybrid or electric cars by 2025.

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