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Volvo is the first major car company to commit to phasing out the production of cars with only internal-combustion engines, starting with the 2019 model year. Every new model launched after that will have an electric motor, either as part of a hybrid drive (like a Prius) or plug-in hybrid (like the Chevy Volt) in which a gasoline or diesel motor supplements the electric motor, or as an all-electric model.

Between 2019 and 2021, the company will launch five new models that are available as electric or hybrid models only. They'll keep producing existing models of internal-combustion cars after 2019, but plan to phase out those models by 2024. (Some reports have said Volvo would switch to electric-only in 2019, which isn't quite accurate.)

This is what you'd call a big effing deal for the auto industry and for reducing carbon emissions. Volvo's goal, according to a press releaseby Volvo CEO Håkan Samuelsson, is to sell a million electrified cars -- including hybrids -- by 2025, and to convert to carbon-neutral manufacturing operations by the same year.

Since Sweden is full of socialism and good health care, Donald Trump will no doubt consider this one more sign that concerns about global warming are closely linked with Hating America, a fact that's no doubt proven by Volvo's having been purchased from Ford in 2010 by Chinese car manufacturer Geely. No, don't let the fact that Volvo is opening a manufacturing plant in South Carolina this year fool you. The foreigners are laughing at us, and now Volvo hates America. We're expecting an executive order within the week demanding that all companies selling cars in the US be required to have at least one model powered by coal. You can bet our president will fight this effort to destroy America and make us put weird diacritical marks in our names.

Strangely, Volvo executives say the move is driven by the market, not by an insane greenie ideology of tree worship. In an interview with the New York Times, CEO Samuelson said,

“Our customers are asking more and more about electric cars[.]” While Volvo’s strategy has risks, Mr. Samuelsson acknowledged, “a much bigger risk would be to stick with internal combustion engines.”

The first run of electric and hybrid Volvos will be built in China, with plants in Europe and America switching to production of electric vehicles later. Volvo is also betting that the investment in electric vehicles will pay off as technology for self-driving cars develops, since as the Times notes, it's easier for self-driving software to control an electric motor than an internal-combustion engine.

The focus on going electric may give Volvo another advantage in the evolving auto market as well:

By focusing on electrification, Volvo can concentrate its limited research and development resources on new technologies rather than continuing to invest in fuel-powered motors that may become obsolete [...]

Volvo will be able to draw on technology developed by its parent company, Geely. The companies can also save money by purchasing components such as batteries together.

Auto industry analysts also said Volvo's decision may be partly driven by the Chinese government's focus on reducing vehicle emissions, both to reduce air pollution and meet the country's carbon-reduction goals -- again perhaps proving that global warming is a Chinese hoax.

It's unclear how the American auto market will respond to Volvo's move, although we won't be the least bit surprised if at least a portion of the nation's diesel pickup enthusiasts pledge to "roll coal" -- blowing thick sooty smoke -- on Volvos, for freedom.

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[Gizmodo / Volvo / Atlantic / Motor Trend]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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