HELSINKI – Volvo plans to build only electric and hybrid vehicles starting in 2019, making it the first major automaker to abandon cars and SUVs powered solely by the internal combustion engine.
Many are 48-volt “Mild hybrids” that assist a gas engine to move a car to make it more efficient, improving gas mileage by 10 or 15 percent, Abuelsamid said.
European luxury brands such as Audi and Mercedes-Benz already are rolling out mild hybrid cars in Europe.
Volvo, which is based in Sweden but owned by Chinese firm Geely, will launch five fully electric cars between 2019 and 2021.
Three of them will be Volvo models and two will be electrified cars from Polestar, Volvo Cars’ performance car arm.
Last year, Volvo sold 534,332 cars in 100 countries, up more than 6 percent from 2015.