The headline is not quite accurate, nor is the notion we are on the verge of the end of the internal combustion engine.
This is a step in that direction, but let’s separate the hype from the reality.
The announcement represents one of the most significant moves by any car maker to embrace electrification and highlights how over a century after the invention of the internal combustion engine electrification is paving the way for a new chapter in automotive history.
“This is about the customer,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive.
“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.”
Volvo Cars will introduce a portfolio of electrified cars across its model range, embracing fully electric cars, plug in hybrid cars and mild hybrid cars.
It 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.
“This announcement marks the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car,” said Mr Samuelsson.
All Electric – Well Not Quite
Volvo says this is “This marks the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car.”
Where? When? For whom?
Announcment “About the Customer?”
Precisely who is the demand from other than governments?
Al Gore is not an acceptable answer.
The problem with hybrids is they add expense yet you still have the internal combustion engine and all its problems.
The problem with batteries is weight, cost, distance, and the major inconvenience of recharging, with no public recharging stations.
I do expect all of those problems will be solved, but unlike autonomous trucking and city transport, battery technology will take a lot longer.
Even if battery charging times are cut in half, anyone driving outside of cities will want gas powered.
Government subsidies and demands from states like California and various countries in Europe will accelerate the trend towards batteries, but the death of the combustion engine is much further away than the death of long haul truck driving prospects.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock