Sales of the Volvo XC90 hybrid were better than expected. Photo: Volvo
Volvo Cars has officially announced
that from 2019 it will cease production of new passenger cars without electric motors. All cars will be either purely electric, or with a hybrid power plant, where a gasoline / diesel engine is used in conjunction with an electric motor. For example, for recharging batteries that power electric motors.
This historic decision of one of the largest manufacturers marks the gradual failure of the automotive industry from environmentally-friendly internal combustion engines. At Volvo, they will remain only in trucks. “This announcement highlights how more than a hundred years after the invention of the engine, electrification paves the way for a new chapter in the history of the automotive industry,” said a Volvo press release.
It is already becoming clear that the future of cars is behind electric motors. It is noteworthy that the announcement of Volvo took place two days before Tesla released the first production model of the mass electric car Model 3 worth $ 30 thousand.
The company's executive director, Håkan Samuelsson, explained that the decision was made based on customer requests. The demand for electric cars is growing, so the company follows the market trend.
Volvo promises to release five electric models between 2019 and 2021, three of which will be models of Volvo itself, and two of them will be Polestar cars, a Volvo sports division. These five models will be equipped with small gasoline or diesel auxiliary engines that generate a voltage of 48 V.
Swedish Volvo Cars since 2010 belongs to the Chinese holding Geely Automobile. The company has 2,300 dealers in more than 100 countries, and in 2015, for the first time in its 89-year history, it overcame the milestone of 500,000 cars sold. Thanks to the transition to innovative electric and hybrid power plants, Volvo expects to reach sales of 1,000,000 cars per year by 2025.
Last year, 265,000 all-electric cars were sold in China, the largest market in the world. There are 110,000 of such sold in Europe, according to statistics from EV-Volumes.com. Globally, the share of electric vehicles does not exceed 1%, but is growing rapidly. For example, from January to March 2017, global sales of electric vehicles increased by 40% to 191,700 units. If growth continues at the same pace, then by 2030, 80% of all new cars in the world will be on electric power.
Tesla last year sold 76,000 cars and plans to reach a level of 1 million by 2020. With a capitalization of $ 58 billion, this innovative start-up company has already overtaken the giant General Motors, which last year sold 10 million cars.
Next year, Jaguar starts selling the I-Pace electric sports car, Audi will start selling two premium electric cars in 2019, and Mercedes-Benz released the first electric SUV under the EQ brand in the same year. BMW should announce an electric car in its most popular 3-Series in September.
If the trend continues, it is possible to predict a decline in demand for gasoline throughout the world and a further decline in world oil prices. Probably, in the distant future oil will remain only as a raw material for the chemical industry, that is, the demand for it will significantly decrease. Perhaps this marks the end of a short economic boom in countries with economies built on the extraction and sale of oil, such as Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.