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Automaker to Ditch Gas for Electric

Volvo planning switch from internal-combustion engines beginning in 2019

GOTHENBURG, Sweden -- In a first, an automaker has pledged to move its entire vehicle lineup from internal-combustion engines to electric motors.

Volvo Cars will manufacture every new vehicle model it launches from 2019 on with an electric motor in what the Swedish premium car company described as “a new chapter in automotive history.”

“This is about the customer,” said Hakan Samuelsson, president and CEO of Volvo Cars, Gothenburg, Sweden. “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.”

The car manufacturer plans to introduce vehicles with a range of electrification, from gasoline hybrids to plug-in hybrids to battery electric vehicles (BEVs). Volvo will debut five BEVs from 2019 to 2021, with three to feature the Volvo make and the remaining two to be high-performance models for its Polestar division.

Volvo will offer all its gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles as hybrids and plug-in hybrids. Essentially, every Volvo model will have an electric motor and gradually replace the automaker’s internal-combustion-engine models. This transition should help Volvo reach its goal of selling 1 million electric vehicles (EVs) by 2025.

“This announcement marks the end of the solely combustion-engine-powered car,” Samuelsson said.

However, it will likely be years before Volvo's internal-combustion-powered models completely disappear, according to USA Today. Automakers usually sell new vehicle models over several years, making small tweaks in the interim before doing a full redesign. It may not be until about 2025 that all new Volvos for sale at dealers have electric motors.

Volvo's announcement happened in the same week that EV manufacturer Tesla said it was beginning production of its mass-market Model 3. CEO Elon Musk said on Twitter that he expected production to ramp up from around 100 in August to 20,000 in December, and eventually hit 500,000 for all of 2018. According to The New York Times, the Model 3 will have a price of about $35,000, which would drop to $27,500 after a federal EV tax credit. Tesla has already collected an estimated 500,000 refundable deposits of $1,000 each for the Model 3.

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