Volvo Cars have announced that the models launched beginning 2019 will be completely electric or hybrid vehicles thereby reducing the impact of the conventional engines on the environment. Until 2019, however, Volvo would continue to use the internal combustion engine as the prime mover with an electric motor and the models would either be a hybrid or a plug-in hybrid vehicle, and these electric vehicles will range from fully electric cars to plug-in hybrids. Initially, the car manufacturer will launch five models between 2019 and 2021 that will consist of three Volvo models and two from the Swedish carmaker's high-performance brand, Polestar, which would most likely be fully electric. The company has also said that it would reshape its Polestar business into a standalone brand that is focused on high-performance electric cars and will complete with Tesla and the Mercedes-AMG high-performance division. Tesla Motors has been a pure battery carmaker from day one. The luxury car manufacturer has also invested in new models as well as plants since being bought by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group from Ford Motor Co. in 2010.
This has established a niche segment in a premium auto market that is dominated by its rivals such as Mercedes-Benz and BMW. The car manufacturer has also said that it will use the Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) on which the 40-Series is built for its upcoming electric vehicle. However, there is still no confirmation from the company whether it will use the CMA or a Scalable Product Architecture or a completely a new platform for its upcoming electric car.
Hakan Samuelsson, Volvo Cars Chief Executive said, "This announcement marks the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car. These five cars will be supplemented by a range of petrol and diesel plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid 48-volt options on all models. This means that there will in future be no Volvo cars without an electric motor.”
The company's new plans for electrification of its models will make it the first automaker to set a date for the complete phase-out of the combustion engine across the industry. This will further embrace emerging technologies, which will make way for higher performance electric vehicles, as well as self-driving cars eventually.
The Government of India has implemented a new GST (Goods and Service Tax) starting 1st July, under which all hybrid vehicles in the country now attract 43 percent tax as compared to the previous 30.3 percent. The 43 percent tax comprises of 28 percent base rate and 15 percent cess. This would make price tags on hybrid cars grow bigger, making it more difficult for manufacturers to encourage potential customers to purchase hybrid cars.