Volvo will begin producing electric motors on all its cars from 2019, becoming the first major automaker to forgo traditional engines that rely exclusively on internal combustion.
The Swedish company, which has been making cars since 1927 and in recent decades became famous for its station wagons and safety features, said Wednesday that the decision was prompted by the wishes of customers, describing it as "one of the most significant moves by any car maker."
CEO Hakan Samuelsson said the shift to electric motors would "strengthen our brand image, which is a lot about protecting what is important for you (customers)."
Volvo Cars said it aims to reach its target of selling 1 million electrified cars by 2025, with a range of models, including fully electric vehicles and hybrid cars.
"This announcement marks the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car," Samuelsson said. "People increasingly demand electrified cars and we want to respond to our customers' current and future needs."
Volvo said its long range models could travel 500 kilometres on a single charge using current technology, but it is looking for suppliers for new and better batteries.
"We are looking at more suppliers in the market today and that will be a key part of being competitive going forward — to always stick with the most successful and innovative supplier" at the time, said Henrik Green, senior vice-president in research and development.
Samuelsson, who acknowledged that the company had been skeptical about electrification only two years ago, said things had changed. "Things have moved faster; customer demand is increasing. This is an attractive car people want to have," he said.