Volvo Goes Electric Like Bob Dylan, A Headline Joke For Fellow Olds
— Volvo Cars (@volvocarsglobal) July 5, 2017
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.
Bye, Earth! BYE!
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."roll coal" -- blowing thick sooty smoke -- on Volvos, for freedom.
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