Volvo plans building electric and hybrid vehicles starting from 2019, to be the first major automaker to give up cars and SUVs solely powered by the internal combustion engine.
CEO Hakan Samuelsson informed that this move was taken owing to customer demand. This it implies in another two years, there will be all new Volvo vehicles featuring electric propulsion.
The announcement comes with the global auto industry moving gradually towards electric-powered vehicles after over a century of using engines burning fossil fuels. Nevertheless, in some markets electric vehicles are showing increased demand.
Yet the changeover to electric vehicles fully will take years. Of course, Tesla Inc. has proclaimed an electric car for $35,000 to the masses and General Motors Co. is selling Chevy Bolt the all-electric for similar price, and so the hybrids that are less-expensive may sell more in the short run at least.
The other automakers may follow the announcement of Volvo in the coming years, said the Navigant Research senior analyst, Abuelsamid.
He also said ‘ I believe we will see the premium brands mostly doing the same in similar time frame and more mainstream brands will get slower’.
The aim to go for hybrid systems is developing as the automakers worldwide are trying to meet the requirements of fuel economy as per government norms. Abuelsamid said ‘Many mild hybrids are 48-volt assisting gas engine to produce efficient cars thereby improving mileage to approximately 10 to 15 percent’.
All manufacturers are moving to hybrids, yet the changeover to 100 percent electric vehicles will take years away, said Darren Jukes, industrial products head for PricewaterhouseCoopers. “