Multinational manufacturer Volvo has announced that all of its new models would be electric or hybrid within two years. It added that the age of the battery-powered car had arrived. Decline of the combustion engine has found push by fears of air quality and also the Volkswagen emissions scandal in which the German carmaker cheated diesel pollution tests.
Chief executive of Volvo Cars, Hakan Samuelsson said that the cost of producing diesel vehicles capable of remaining below ever-stricter pollution regulations had played a part in the company's decision to stop developing new diesel engines. “Long term, diesel will be more and more expensive. That is why, cost-wise, we are talking about alternatives,” he said. Samuelsson said the decision was a U-turn for the company. “Yes, we were a sceptic (about electric cars) because of the cost of batteries and the lack of charging infrastructure. But customer demand is increasing, battery costs have come down and there has been movement on infrastructure. The technology is right and the price is right. This announcement marks the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car. It is a very significant decision for Volvo cars.”
He, however, warned that Britain was not at the top of the list of international markets that he expected to focus on, as it lacked charging-point infrastructure. Volvo said it would launch five new fully electric models between 2019 and 2021. Figures show that almost 59,000 new green cars have been sold in the UK over the past 12 months, up 27.5 per cent in a year. Meanwhile, sales of petrol cars rose by 5.2 per cent while diesel sales fell almost 10 per cent on year.