Electric vehicles are quickly becoming the future of automobiles, thanks to efforts by both veteran car manufacturers and startups. Perhaps taking a cue from electric car manufacturing leaders like Tesla, traditional auto industry heavyweight Volvo has decided to focus on electric and hybrid vehicles from 2019 and beyond.
“Volvo cars is taking a bold step forward,” the company explained in a video on Volvo’s official Twitter account, “heralding the end of an era for the pure internal combustion engine.”
While other companies have yet to take the leap, Volvo knows investing in electric car production makes good sense from a business perspective: “This is about the customer,” Håkan Samuelsson, Volvo Car Group’s president and CEO, said in a press release. “People increasingly demand electrified cars and we want to respond to our customers’ current and future needs.”
It’s also a decision rooted in a sense of environmental responsibility, “We are determined to be the first premium car maker to move our entire portfolio of vehicles into electrification,” Samuelsson said in the video. “This is a clear commitment towards reducing our carbon footprint, as well as contributing to a better air quality in our cities.”
For a car company like Volvo to commit to hybrids and EVs is no small feat. It could easily translate to over 500,000 cars turned electric, if we base the numbers on Volvo’s 2016 sales. According to the EPA, a single passenger vehicle produces an average of 4.7 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year. With their committment to electric vehicles, Volvo could potentially remove about 2.3 million metric tons of carbon emissions in just one year. The company has already set a sales target of 1 million hybrid and electric cars by 2025.
Will other car manufacturers follow suit? Several other companies already have their own EVs in the works: German automaker Volkswagen aims to produce one million EVs by 2025 and already has three concept vehicles. Chevrolet has also been working to perfect its Bolt EV, and Honda is hard at work on a new charging system that could give electric cars unlimited range.
This could, indeed, herald a new era for passenger vehicles. At the very least, this proves that EVs are no longer just a pipe dream. They are the future of clean transportation — at least for these automakers. As Samuelsson said, “We are convinced that the future of Volvo is electric.”