Volvo aims to go electric in 2019, signals end of dominance of combustion engine

5 Jul 201725 Shares

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The new Volvo XC60 T6. Image: Volvo

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Volvo signals the demise of almost a century of life dominated by the internal combustion engine.

Volvo Cars has revealed that it will be phasing out the production of vehicles powered only by internal combustion engines (ICEs).

All cars produced after that date will be either fully electric or electric hybrids.

‘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’
– HÅKAN SAMUELSSON

This marks nearly the end of an entire century of cars powered solely by ICEs.

Volvo also revealed that it plans to launch three new fully electric cars between 2019 and 2021 as well as two high-performance electrics under the Polestar brand.

New hybrids will be a mix of petrol and diesel twin-engine plug-ins as well as 48-volt, mild hybrid options.

A new chapter in automotive industry history

Volvo confirms the end of the combustion engine, aims to go all-electric in 2019

Mild hybrid, 48-volt car. Image: Volvo

Effectively, no Volvo cars after 2019 will be solely reliant on ICEs and presumably, other car manufacturers will follow suit.

Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars, said the phasing out of older engines signals a new chapter in automotive history.

“This announcement marks the end of the solely combustion-engine-powered car,” Samuelsson said.

Volvo confirms the end of the combustion engine, aims to go all-electric in 2019

Pure electric-battery-driven car. Image: Volvo

“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.”

“This is about the customer,” Samuelsson said. “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 confirms the end of the combustion engine, aims to go all-electric in 2019

Plug-in hybrid, twin engine. Image: Volvo

Updated, 12.55pm, 5 July 2017: This article was updated to clarify that Volvo is not phasing out the internal combustion engine in its entirety, but the production of cars reliant solely on ICEs.

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com