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Beginning in 2019, Volvo Will Sell Only Electric or Hybrid Models

On Wednesday morning, Volvo announced that it will sell only electric or hybrid vehicles from 2019 onwards. This makes the Swedish automaker, owned by the Chinese company Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd GELYY, the first traditional car maker to phase out combustion engine-based models.

“This announcement marks the end of the solely combustion engine-based powered car,” Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson said. “This means that in the future there will be no Volvo cars without an electric motor.”

Volvo will launch five fully electric cars between 2019 and 2021. This new strategy allows the company to compete directly with Tesla TSLA, which has made a name for itself by only selling fully electric cars from its start in 2003.

The company will also release plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid options on all models sold. These models use an electric motor to make a combustion engine more efficient. A mild hybrid system uses an electric motor to support propulsion from a combustion engine, while a plug-in hybrid system allows a car to run using just electric power for a short period of time. 

“This is about the customer,” Samuelsson said. “People increasingly demand electrified cars and we want to respond to our customers’ current and future needs. You can now pick and choose whichever electrified Volvo you wish.”

Volvo’s change in manufacturing will have a positive effect on the environment as the company aims to have climate neutral manufacturing operations by 2025. This change will also support car manufacturer plants as both combustion engines and electric motors are needed in each hybrid vehicle.

Geely proves to be embracing new technology since buying Volvo in 2010. The company has invested in new plants and models, looking towards electric vehicles and eventually self-driving cars. And just last month, Geely agreed to buy Terrafugia, a U.S.-based start-up, which is in the process of developing a flying car.

Volvo will continue to produce combustion engine models until 2019.

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