July 20, 2017 at 7:31 PM
The electric vehicle revolution has taken another huge step with the announcement from Volvo that in just two years’ time, every new car throughout its range will have an electric power train option.
Where one manufacturer leads, it is likely only a matter of time before the rest will follow, signalling the biggest change the car industry has seen in a generation, and possibly in its entire history.
The core of business
Volvo described the announcement as marking “the historic end” of the internal combustion engine as we know it, and stated that electrification is “at the core of its future business”.
Volvo’s Chief Executive, Håkan Samuelsson, said that the decision is simply in response to meeting consumer demands, and if uptake in the UK is anything to go by, it is easy to see his point. Over the past five years, the number of electric cars on Britain’s roads has increased from 2,000 to more than 80,000. By 2020, the number is expected to hit 700,000.
Volvo has a long tradition of being a leader rather than a follower when it comes to new automotive trends. Its reputation for safety is legendary, for the simple reason that it took aspects such as seat belts and side impact protection seriously long before they became significant in the public perception.
More recently, the company has been a frontrunner in the development of autonomous driving technology, and now we are seeing the same pattern with electric vehicles.
The brand will launch five fully electric models between 2019 and 2021, including two within the Polestar sub brand of premium sports cars. The rest of the model range will come with a choice of either a plug-in hybrid power unit or a 48-volt mild hybrid system.