Washington - Electricity will power every new Volvo model starting in 2019, the Chinese-owned automaker making it the first major car manufacturer to pledge to leave the traditional combustion engine behind. Volvo said it will launch five fully electric vehicles between 2019 and 2021.
Three of them will be Volvo models, and the other two will come from Polestar, Volvo's performance car arm. Volvo said it will also introduce a host of new gas and diesel plug-in hybrids down the line. The company has yet to provide details on any of the models.
"Volvo Cars has stated that it plans to have sold a total of [1 million] electrified cars by 2025. When we said it we meant it. This is how we are going to do it," said Hakan Samuelsson, Volvo's president and chief executive. The company said it will continue to manufacture its gas-fueled cars but will gradually phase them out of production.
Some experts question how quickly American consumers will adapt to the switch. "Buyers in the US say they have interest in electric vehicles but largely buy sport utilities with gasoline engines," said Michelle Krebs, executive analyst at Autotrader. "The major challenge for automakers in the future will be figuring out how to generate consumer demand for the electric and hybrid vehicles required by government regulations."