06 July, 2017
Volvo says all its new vehicles starting in 2019 will have electric motors.
The Chinese-owned company is the first major car manufacturer to set a date for producing only electric powered vehicles.
Volvo's president, Hakan Samuelsson, said the decision was made because of the desires of today's car buyers. "People increasingly demand electrified cars, and we want to respond to our customers' current and future needs," he said.
The company said it will offer five fully electric vehicles between 2019 and 2021. Three models will carry the Volvo name. The others will be sold by Polestar, the company's business for high-end products.
Details on the future models were not immediately released.
Two other models with a 2019 launch date will have some form of hybrid system. A hybrid vehicle is one that is powered by both electricity and a traditional fuel, gasoline.
One of the new models will be a hybrid that can be connected into an outside power source to recharge the battery. A plug-in hybrid can use either gasoline or electric power. The other model, said to be a mild hybrid, creates electricity from braking power.
The company will keep selling non-electric vehicles launched before 2019.
Volvo aims to sell 1 million electrified cars by 2025.
Hakan Samuelsson says the main goal is to make the company more environmentally friendly.
"This is a clear commitment towards reducing our carbon footprint, as well as contributing to a better air quality in our cities. We are convinced that the future of Volvo is electric..."
The electric models are to be produced at Volvo factories worldwide. The company has factories in Europe and China. Volvo plans to open another plant in the American state of South Carolina.
Volvo's announcement comes as most major automakers keep investing heavily in fully electric and hybrid vehicles. The company's new Polestar brand is seen as a main competitor to American manufacturer Tesla.
Tesla just announced the sales launch of the company's much-awaited Model 3, which costs about $35,000. Tesla's chief executive officer, Elon Musk, says the company plans to be producing at least 20,000 Model 3 cars a month by December to keep up with high demand.
The German car manufacturer BMW is reportedly planning to launch an electric version of its popular 3 Series later this year. American General Motors will soon begin selling its popular Chevrolet Bolt in all U.S. states.
Audi plans to introduce a fully electric sports utility vehicle in 2018, while Ford has said it plans to launch one by 2020.
On Thursday, France announced plans to ban the sale of gasoline- and diesel-powered cars across the country by 2040.
Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot said the goal is part of a long-term plan to satisfy France's commitments under the Paris climate deal. Hulot told reporters the goal is hard to achieve. But he added that French car manufacturers already have solutions to reach the target.
I'm Bryan Lynn.
Bryan Lynn wrote this story for VOA Learning English, based on reports from the Associated Press, Reuters and other sources. George Grow was the editor.
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Words in This Story
customer – n. person who buys goods or services from a business
source – n. someone or something that provides what is needed
braking – n. system used for slowing or stopping
carbon footprint – n. amount of carbon dioxide produced by people, companies or organizations
contribute – v. help cause something to happen
ambitious – adj. desire to be successful or powerful
commitment – n. promise to do something
high-end - adj. of high quality and usually high in price