by: Shanthi Rexaline, Benzinga Staff Writer
Combustion engines may become a thing of the past, as the action on the auto front shifts from Detroit to Silicon Valley.
Going by the emphasis on electric cars, their fuel economy and environmental friendliness, it is no wonder that Swedish automaker Volvo, owned by Chinese automobile company Geely, announced that all models rolled out from its 2019 stable will be fully electric or hybrids.
This will be a radical shift for the 90-year-old company, which has thus far been focused on pure combustion engines. Volvo would become the first traditional automaker to go all-electric.
The company implied it would continue selling hybrid vehicles, which use both the traditional motor and an electric one, although the emphasis will be on pure electric models.
On specific plans, Volvo said it would be launching five fully electric hybrids between 2019 and 2021, with three Volvo models and the remaining two from Polestar, its performance car arm.
CEO Hakan Samuelsson has said the policy reflects the wishes of customers.
Serving Customers' Wants, Needs
"People increasingly demand electrified cars and we want to respond to our customers' current and future needs," Samuelsson said.
The policy shift doesn't come as a surprise, given the recent interest in the category of vehicles. Tesla Inc TSLA 4.17% has been a pureplay electric vehicle company, and most other traditional automakers are also switching lanes, realizing the potential of the technology.
BMW (BAYER MOTOREN WERK ADR EACH REPR 0.33333 SHS BMWYY 1.91%) has an electric version of its 3 Series in the works and is likely to commercially launch the product in September.
Tesla, which thus far has been the leader in the space, now seems to have some serious competition to contend with.
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