Volvo first to break cover
In a surprise move, Volvo has announced all new models will utilise an electric motor from 2019. This would be the first traditional major manufacturer to announce the switch, with Tesla standing as the only other manufacturer outlining sustainable electric cars for the mass market.
With plans to launch five fully electric models between 2019 and 2021, and a further range of hybrid models (vehicles which utilise both petrol and electric power trains). The manufacturer also indicated that models currently sitting in the range which utilise petrol engines will continue to be produced until they reach the end of the models cycle. Volvo is aiming to deliver as many as a million new electric vehicles by 2025, and hope to stand as a leader in the electric vehircle segment.
Geely, Volvo's Chinese owner have been developing new electrical tech behind closed doors for over a decade. It seems as China continues to grow, creating record levels of air pollution, Geely have seized the impetus to develop for future market. "This announcement marks the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car," said Hakan Samuelsson, chief executive of Volvo's car making division. "People increasingly demand electrified cars, and we want to respond to our customers' current and future needs," he added.
Car production is currently at lower levels than analysts had forecast, and manufacturers are finding trading conditions increasingly difficulty. It seems Tesla are currently bucking that trend, with its latest vehicle, the Model 3, garnering over 300,000 pre-orders before a single customer or media test. Tesla’s meteoric rise has upset much of the established industry, and many have been caught off-guard forced to play catch-up.
Despite the company making no profit, its stock market value currently stands at $58bn, nearly a quarter higher than that of Ford. With demand only going one way, Volvo could be one to watch.