Volvo has yet to offer an all-electric vehicle or even to unveil one, but it announced today plans to only release electric vehicles starting in 2019.
But the news has some nuances and is being misreported, likely partly due to Volvo itself calling the announcement “Volvo Cars to go all electric“.
It’s a significant announcement and likely the biggest commitment to electric vehicles from any legacy automaker, but Volvo’s brand is not going “all-electric”.
All the company is promising is that all its future new vehicles starting in 2019 will have an electric motor, like hybrids – meaning that they can still have an internal combustion engine (ICE).
Here’s how the company phrased it in its press release:
“Volvo Cars, the premium car maker, has announced that every Volvo it launches from 2019 will have an electric motor, marking the historic end of cars that only have an internal combustion engine (ICE) and placing electrification at the core of its future business.”
In term of all-electric vehicles, nothing has changed for Volvo today.
The company already announced last month that it was changing its Polestar brand to all-electric and launching two new vehicles under it and they plan to unveil three more all-electric vehicles under the Volvo brand.
But they said today that all those vehicles will also be offered with hybrid powertrains:
“These five cars will be supplemented by a range of petrol and diesel plug in hybrid and mild hybrid 48 volt options on all models, representing one of the broadest electrified car offerings of any car maker.”
They are still sticking to their target to “have sold a total of 1m electrified cars by 2025” and considering Volvo sells about half a million vehicles per year, it’s clear that they plan for gas-powered vehicles to still be an important part of their sales over the next 8 years.
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