Every new Volvo launched starting in 2019 will be powered, at least in part, by electricity, the automaker announced early July.
The Chinese-owned Swedish automaker says the move will mark a “historic” end to Volvo models with nothing but an internal combustion engine under the hood.
It’s a bold move, with the company calling it one of the most significant strategies by any carmaker to embrace electrification.
“This is about the customer,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and CEO. “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, Volvo says it will launch five fully electric vehicles. It will sell three as Volvos, while the other two will be high-performance models to be sold by its Polestar division, soon to be set apart as a distinct brand.
When Volvo’s electric boogaloo is complete, its vehicle range will include battery electric vehicles (BEVs), plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and mild hybrids.
The automaker has two PHEVs now, in the hybrid versions of its XC60 and XC90 crossovers, though neither is a hybrid in the traditional sense: rather than focusing on reducing fuel consumption, both boast 400 hp and something closer to 500 lb-ft of torque, power figures that hint at what kind of performance those future electric Polestars will be capable of.
Volvo’s most recent revelation into its way forward follows an announcement earlier this year that the company was abandoning diesel engines, as Samuelsson said making diesels meet emissions standards would soon be prohibitively expensive compared to electrified powertrains.
As for the brand’s all-electric models, Volvo says it plans to start with one in 2019 that can go at least 400 km on a charge and that will cost less than $40,000 US.