Volvo moves to phase out conventional engines

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/05/business/energy-environment/volvo-hybrid-electric-car.htm l

Volvo Cars on Wednesday became the first mainstream automaker to sound the death knell of the internal combustion engine, saying that all the models it introduces starting in 2019 will be either hybrids or powered solely by batteries.

The decision is the boldest commitment by any major car company to technologies that currently represent a small share of the total vehicle market but are increasingly viewed as essential to combating climate change and urban pollution.

While most major automakers offer hybrids and battery-powered options, none of them have been willing to forsake cars powered solely by gasoline or diesel fuel. On the contrary, United States automakers have continued to churn out S.U.V.s and pickup trucks, whose sales have surged because of relatively low fuel prices.

Yet Volvo’s move may be the latest sign that the era of the gas guzzler is slowly coming to an end. Tesla, which makes only limited numbers of electric carssurpassed Ford and General Motors this year in terms of stock market value, despite making significantly fewer cars than those automotive giants — a clear indication of where investors think the industry is headed.

“Our customers are asking more and more about electric cars,” Hakan Samuelsson, the chief executive of Volvo, said in a telephone interview on Wednesday. While Volvo’s strategy has risks, Mr. Samuelsson acknowledged, “a much bigger risk would be to stick with internal combustion engines.”

Though based in Sweden, Volvo is owned by Geely Automobile Holdings of China, which already produces battery-powered cars for the Chinese market. The decision by Volvo to focus on electric vehicles could ultimately give it and Geely a head start if, as many analysts expect, sales of battery powered cars begin to take off. China is already the largest market for electric vehicles.

Volvo’s battery-powered vehicles will be produced initially in China, but eventually also in Europe and at a new factory the company is building near Charleston, S.C.

Hybrids, which combine battery power with gasoline or diesel engines, accounted for about 2 percent of passenger car sales in the United States last year, a number that has been declining because gasoline prices have fallen.

And cars that run solely on battery power are still rare in most countries because of high purchase prices, lengthy charging times and limited ranges.

Still, most carmakers expect the share of electric cars to grow quickly as the technology improves, prices fall and public charging stations become more commonplace. Rapid advances in self-driving cars will also encourage a shift to battery power: It is simpler to link self-driving software to an electric motor than to a conventional engine.

———-

“saying that all the models it introduces starting in 2019 will be either hybrids or powered solely by batteries.”

who buys volvos anyway?

“Hybrids, which combine battery power with gasoline or diesel engines, accounted for about 2 percent of passenger car sales in the United States last year, a number that has been declining because gasoline prices have fallen.”

i bet the majority they produce will be hybrids..

401

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~ by seeker401 on July 11, 2017.

4 Responses to “Volvo moves to phase out conventional engines”

  1. “Though based in Sweden, Volvo is owned by Geely Automobile Holdings of China”

    Yet China is labeled a developing country (China owns a lot around the world).

    “While most major automakers offer hybrids and battery-powered options, none of them have been willing to forsake cars powered solely by gasoline or diesel fuel.”

    Meanwhile oil deals and drilling are going up.

    https://seeker401.wordpress.com/2017/07/05/total-set-to-sign-4-8bn-gas-deal-with-iran/

    https://seeker401.wordpress.com/2017/07/04/why-are-countries-laying-claim-to-the-deep-sea-floor/

    https://seeker401.wordpress.com/2016/12/14/19-5-of-russian-oil-giant-rosneft-sold-in-biggest-privatization-deal-of-2016/

    • yep..china holds the keys to volvo..

    • 55% of chinese still live rural lives, many without running water or electricity. it’s still a developing country even if they have a lot of rich people there as well.

      • Thanks for clearing that up. I was wondering why some articles called them “developing” while China has such a large claim throughout the world. At least to me, the concepts “developing” and “developed” do not provide a large enough framework to incorporate the whole of the economic situation in China.

        Seek, there does seem to be a west to east happening, as you say.

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