Volvo to Go All Electric by 2019
Volvo on Wednesday announced that every vehicle it launches from 2019 will have an electric motor.
The move marks "the historic end of cars that only have an internal combustion engine (ICE)," the Swedish car maker says. In other words, "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."
Volvo plans to launch five fully electric cars between 2019 and 2020, three under the namesake brand itself and two from Polestar, the company's performance car arm. Volvo will also offer gas and diesel plug-in hybrids, as well as "mild hybrid" 48-volt options on all models.
"People increasingly demand electrified cars and we want to respond to our customers' current and future needs," Volvo's President and Chief Executive, Håkan Samuelsson, said in a statement. "You can now pick and choose whichever electrified Volvo you wish."
The company aims to sell 1 million electrified cars -- and have "climate neutral manufacturing operations" -- by 2025.
Meanwhile, Volvo is also aiming to bring fully autonomous vehicles to market in the next few years. The company has been testing its autonomous vehicles in Australia, where it's encountered a particularly challenging obstacle: kangaroos. Volvo Australia's Technical Manager David Pickett told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that the unusual way the marsupials move confuses the company's autonomous vehicles.
"When it's in the air it actually looks like it's further away, then it lands and it looks closer," Pickett said, according to the report. The company is, however, confident it can solve the problem, and says the issue won't delay the rollout of autonomous vehicles in Australia.