Swedish car manufacturer Volvo announced on Wednesday that its 2019 models would either be powered by fully electric or hybrid engines, steering the company to a total abandonment of the internal combustion engine in the coming years.
The company will continue to produce its older models with traditional engines, but its future line-ups would include a range of climate-friendly vehicles. The move makes Volvo the first major car company to announce a date for the end of combustion engine-only design.
“This is about the customer,” Håkan Samuelsson, president and CEO of Volvo said in a statement. “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.”
Between 2019 and 2021, the company will launch five fully electric cars – three of which will be Volvos and two others will be high performance cars from its Polestar wing. The statement provided no additional details on the upcoming vehicles, which will compete directly with Tesla’s existing models.
Automakers have been key supporters of the anti-climate change movement in recent years, with several companies releasing statements condemning President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord.
“We believe climate change is real, and remain deeply committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in our vehicles and our facilities,” Ford Motor Co said. “Our commitment to sustainability is why we’re investing so heavily in electrification and adding 13 new electrified vehicles to our lineup.”
Tesla CEO Elon Musk had been attending economic advisory meetings with Trump and other executives in the weeks leading up to the announcement detrimental to the Paris agreement, but decided to leave the panel after hearing about Trump’s decision.
By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
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Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…