All Volvo car models launched after 2019 will be electric or hybrids, the Chinese-owned company has annnounced. As Julian Satterthwaite reports, it's the first major traditional automaker to set a date for phasing out vehicles powered solely by the internal combustion engine.
Volvo is going all-in on clean cars. The Swedish firm saying all new models after 2019 will be electric or hybrids. That makes it the first big automaker to set a date for phasing out traditional engines. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHAIRMAN OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD OF VOLVO CARS CORPORATION HAKAN SAMUELSSON SAYING: "We are reacting to customer demand, asking for electrified cars and of course it is also the way for us to cut down when it comes to C02 levels and reducing our carbon footprint." Here's one reason for the Volvo move. Elon Musk's Tesla brand enjoying a sales boom. Its new Model 3 going into full production this week - having already racked up over 300-thousand orders. The company credited with making electric cars not only credible, but desirable. Volvo wants to get in on the action: SOUNDBITE (English) REUTERS REPORTER, NICK POLLARD SAYING: "Under Geely ownership Volvo has been moving upmarket, becoming more of a luxury car that can take on rivals such as Daimler's Mercedes Benz and BMW / So what they're doing now is adding a technological trend that is really prevalent in the car industry, which is electrification, and that again will go back to define Volvo as a car not only the old school safe Volvo but also a more luxurious and cutting edge car." Volvo will continue to sell petrol and diesel cars developed before 2019. But there will be no new investment in traditional engines. Another sign, perhaps, that the era of the gas guzzler is coming to an end.