Volvo will be all electric by 2019, but it's not only about the environment. Significantly, it's about the customer.
In what is truly an industry-changing moment, Volvo has announced that all of its models will be either fully electric or partly electric by 2019. As such, one of the most forward-thinking brands in world society, run by one of the most-forward thinking nations on the planet, Sweden, will pave the way for other major brands to finally, and inevitably, also discard the combustion engine once and for all.
What's most significant though is the slight shift in reasoning for doing so, which has moved over from environmental to consumerist. Yes, customers now want electric cars, and whether or not that has to ultimately do with the environment anyway or a preference for the type of propulsion created by electricity, it still means this: Volvo customers now prefer electric over petrol and Volvo is just merely responding from a financial perspective.
Most significantly, in this response is buried the very seed that truly changes society, and where we finally lose the old horse to Sunday fun; like our ancestors who discarded four legs for four wheels, we too are on the precipice of discarding that very thing - the combustion engine - that created the only society we know - this society. Volvo, an established car brand that uses petrol, is literally now changing its product to survive and that, in a sense, is probably more significant than the production of Tesla and any electric news that has been published for 20 years.
“This is about the customer,” said Håkan Samuelsson, President and CEO of Volvo, “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.”
He goes on to say some very significant words that should ring throughout any car lover's mind from now until the next century. These words; these startling and extraordinary words:
"This announcement marks the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car.”
Well. Remember where you read that first. It might be the most significant piece of motoring news you read for another 20 years.