Volvo to Drop Combustion Engines and Take All its Cars Electric in 2019

The Swedish-based carmaker, Volvo, will build only electric or hybrid-electric cars beginning in 2019, making it the first big auto company to abandon conventional gasoline-powered engines. 

The legendary auto manufacturer, now a wholly owned subsidiary of a Chinese company, had earlier set a goal of selling one million electric cars and hyrids by 2025. “This is how we are going to do it,” President and CEO Hakan Samuelsson said in a statement. 

Volvo's plug-in hybrid model cars.

Volvo's plug-in hybrid model cars. VOLVO

All the major automakers have been getting ready for the shift to electric vehicles, reports Dow Jones, but have been waiting until the cost of manufacturing electric models was comparable to producing conventional cars. 

In recent weeks, Jaguar, Audi, Aston Martin, and Mercedes have each announced plans to launch new EV models, according to BusinessGreen, and earlier this week Honda and Hitachi said they would establish a new joint company focused on electric cars. 

While the global market for electric cars remains small, under one per cent of total new vehicle sales, it is growing rapidly. More than half of the world’s electric cars, or more than 500,000, are already sold in China, which aims to have five million electric cars on its roads by 2020, CNN reports. And Volvo’s announcement comes just weeks after U.S. electric car firm Tesla said it was working with Shanghai officials to establish a manufacturing facility in China.