Volvo pledges all-electric transformation by 2019

If the company focuses on cheaper electric vehicles, Tesla should be worried.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer on

Swedish automaker Volvo has announced plans to give every vehicle launched from 2019 with an electric motor.

On Thursday, Volvo said the shift, which is a bold move away from cars which use only internal combustion engines (ICE) and run exclusively on fuel, will "place electrification at the core of its future business."

Introducing electric motors does not automatically make a car an electric vehicle (EV), but it does highlight a growing trend towards hybrid and electric vehicles in the industry.

While many automakers, including Tesla and Nissan, have introduced EVs into their lines, the short-term investment often outweighs long-term benefits for the average consumer.

Purchasing an EV is generally more expensive than a similar model which runs on traditional fossil fuels. The Nissan Leaf, Renault Zoe, and Volkswagen e-Up can cost between roughly £14,000 and £20,000, while the "affordable" Tesla Model 3 is expected to come in at approximately £35,000 -- and the company is constantly under pressure to meet order demand due to battery supply issues.

Volvo is waving a red flag through this announcement. By making a bold claim and aligning itself with electricity as the future of transportation, the automaker may hope to secure a dominant position in this emerging market.

However, by introducing a portfolio of electrified cars across its model range, including fully electric cars, plug-in hybrid cars and "mild" hybrid cars, consumers are given the option to gently shift to different fuel types, while avoiding issues such as a lack of charging stations or range anxiety by still having access to petrol or diesel.

The company plans to launch five pure EVs between 2019 and 2021, all of which will have petrol and diesel hybrid options. Should the price bracket be suitable to entice consumers to make the switch, Volvo may have a strong stake in this market in the future.

As the automaker wants to sell at least one million electrified cars by 2025, they will have to cater to a range of budgets to make this happen.

"This means that there will in future be no Volvo cars without an electric motor, as pure ICE cars are gradually phased out and replaced by ICE cars that are enhanced with electrified options," the company says.

"This is about the customer," said Håkan Samuelsson, Volvo president, and chief executive. "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."

See also: No dodging that conference call now: Volvo adds in-car Skype for Business, will test Cortana too

Last week, Nvidia said the company was partnering with Volvo and Autoliv to develop advanced systems and software for self-driving cars.

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