Volvo made a bold announcement Wednesday: within two years, every new Volvo will run on batteries...
...or rather, that's what many of the news headlines would lead you to believe. What Volvo actually said was this:
"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."
Which is not quite the same thing.
The key word in that sentence is "launches." Yes, all brand-new models will come with electric motors, starting in 2019. As for existing gas and diesel models, though, they may continue to roll off the assembly lines without any electrification. Will they be converted to electric platforms when they're redesigned after the usual seven or so years? Does a redesign count as a launch in this sense? We've reached out to Volvo for clarification.
Also note that Volvo isn't saying that all new models made from 2019 on will be fully electric. Rather, they'll be electrified, which can include mild hybrid propulsion systems as well as plug-in hybrids.
That being said, it's still a very bold move—one that's in keeping with Volvo's environmentally conscious image, and one that's also in line with China's aggressive goals for electric car adoption. (Volvo is now owned by Geely, one of China's largest automakers.)
And as part of the announcement, Volvo says that it plans to introduce a total of five fully electric vehicles between 2019 and 2021. Three of those will be sold under the Volvo nameplate, with the other two sold as Polestar models. Polestar is Volvo's performance division, which is being given its own branded lineup.
Volvo aims to have sold a total of one million electrified vehicles by 2025.
For more information and perspective on this news, check out our colleagues at Green Car Reports.