Volvo is going somewhere no other traditional automaker has dared to go, yet. The Swedish car maker announced Wednesday that by 2019 every car they make will be electric.
The company was not totally clear is all future models would be some sort of electric/gas hybrid or a true all-electric, all-battery engine. They stated that they hope that they can become the first traditional carmaker to not sell cars based mainly on internal combustion engines, according to NBC News.
While Volvo is planning to go all-electric, other luxury automakers have already announced new, major electric offerings recently. During the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show, BMW is expected to show off an all-electric 3-Series sedan. Mercedes-Benz is planning a Mercedes-EQ line, which will be all-electric, and on Wednesday, Daimler AG announced an investment of up to $700 million to build all-electric cars in China.
While founded and based in Sweden, Volvo is owned by a Chinese holding company. They previously stated that by 2025 they wanted to sell 1 million electric vehicles.
According to Hakan Samuelsson, Volvo Cars CEO, said that the company’s previous emphasis on safety and the environment is how they are going to move forward with their electric fleet. While known for the safety of their cars, over the last few years, the environment has become a major concern for Volvo. While their competition was producing gas guzzling V8 powered luxury cars, the Swedish car maker was using only four-cylinder power plants, and in 2016, the XC90 SUV introduced the plug-in hybrid power plant, the T8 “Twin Engine.”
This transition to all electric is expected to start with three vehicles and span between 2019 and 2021. Look to the middle of the 2020s for the complete transition to all-electric. While they have not clarified if they are planning hybrids, plug-ins, or pure battery vehicles, there is a huge demand for T8.
Many people, especially in the U.S., may view Volvo’s move as risky. In the Trump era of anti-climate change thinking and a push for fossil fuels, as well as the low cost of gas, electric vehicle sales have fallen, but Volvo plans to go on.
However, many countries who stayed in the Paris accord have already passed tougher emissions laws and mileage mandates. Car makers in the U.S. vow to continue the target of a 54.5 mile-per-gallon target set under President Obama, even though Trump has challenged the EPA standard.
The declining cost of batteries and improved vehicle range, according to industry analysts, should start to win over consumers. Tesla and their Model 3 is already expecting sales to jump to about 600 percent of what their numbers were last year. Other all electric startups are banking on the low cost of batteries and range improvements, so Volvo may end up fitting in just fine, and being a name associated with safety could be huge for them.
What do you think? Will Volvo survive as an all-electric car? Would you buy one? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
By Cletus Dillwood
Photo Courtesy Volvo