Car manufacturer Volvo has announced that every car it launches from 2019 will have an electric motor, putting an end to a century of domination by road vehicles that only have an internal combustion engine (ICE).

The announcement represents one of the most significant moves by any car maker, as the 90-year-old company places electrification at the core of its future business. Volvo Cars has previously stated that it plans to have sold a million electrified cars by 2025. It also aims to have climate-neutral manufacturing operations by 2025.

Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars, said: “People increasingly demand electrified cars and we want to respond to our customers’ current and future needs.”

Volvo Cars will launch five fully electric cars between 2019 and 2021, three of which will be Volvo models and two of which will be high-performance electrified cars from Polestar, Volvo Cars’ performance car arm. These fully electric cars will be supplemented by a range of petrol and diesel plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid 48-volt options on all models, representing one of the broadest electrified car offerings of any car maker.

This means that there will in future be no Volvo cars without an electric motor, as pure ICE cars are gradually phased out and replaced by ICE cars that are enhanced with electrified options.

However, concerns have been raised whether the electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure will be ready for the change. Tim Payne, CEO of InstaVolt, a UK company which installs and maintains rapid EV charging points, warns that better charging infrastructure will be needed to cater for the inevitable surge in EVs on the road as a result of this move by the major car maker. “A large portion of UK residents don’t have access to home charging," he explained. "Placing rapid chargers in strategic public locations such as garage forecourts, supermarkets and business parks will therefore be vital to keep Britain moving in its new electric fleet.”

Image: Volvo Cars Group