Volvo Phasing Out Non-Electric Cars

Volvo says every new model it sells from 2019 onwards will have at least some electric motor in the engine set-up. It’s calling it “the historic end of cars that have only an internal combustion engine” and is the first major manufacturer to make the step.

It’s not quite the death of the combustion engine as the commitment still allows for plug-in hybrids and “mild hybrid” cars, which top up a battery by capturing energy while driving and using this to assist the power. Mild hybrids don’t usually have a mode where the car is powered exclusively by electricity.

Amid the hype, it’s worth noting Volvo will still make non-electric cars as existing models will remain in production. The “change” is that they won’t be replaced when they come to the end of their lifespan.

There’s definitely a direction of travel, so to speak. Volvo says between 2019 and 2021 it will launch five fully electric vehicles, of which two will be in its high-performance range Polestar, which is now going to be be spun off into a separate electric-only company.

The company is targeting a total of one million electrified cars by 2025; to put that into context, it currently sells around 500,000 total cars each year.