"This is about the customer", said Hakan Samuelsson, president and chief Executive of Volvo Cars. "But we believe the [future] targets will not be possible to meet with only internal combustion engines".
However, there's still a long way to go: The Financial Times reports that overall, just 1% worldwide were electric cars in 2016. Prices are becoming more competitive with traditional gasoline-powered cars.
The Swedish vehicle firm said today it is putting electrification at the core of its business.
But eliminating the gas engine altogether will be hard, if not impossible.
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Globally, the cumulative number of electric cars broke the 2m barrier past year, up from hundreds in 2005.
Last week BMW announced it would introduce an all-electric version of its 3-Series line of cars, in what could be an attempt to compete with Tesla's Model 3. Those companies will at least initially lose money on those cars. Lithium-ion batteries represent the largest and highest growth segment of the lithium market. But costs aren't coming down almost as fast as they did for other types of technology - say, for new computer chips.
"This also means we won't be doing other things". "It's really hard to predict". "We need new players, we need more competition". "It keeps getting better and better and better". Volvo already has a few hybrids in its lineup, but it hasn't yet launched a fully electric vehicle.
Volvo, which is based in Sweden but owned by Geely Automobile Holdings of China, will also be able to draw on technology developed by its parent company.
Volvo is something of a trendsetter. GM introduced its own similarly-priced auto, the Chevy Bolt, in late 2016, and has sold around 8,000 of them since December.
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