Volvo Car Group will offer a range of five electric cars by the start of the next decade, the latest manufacturer to woo customers to battery-powered models with longer driving ranges and more attractive designs. The automaker will introduce the vehicles between 2019 and 2021, Gothenburg, Sweden-based Volvo Cars said Wednesday in a statement, expanding on earlier plans that included a battery-powered compact car as well as an all-electric version of its XC90 sport utility vehicle. The company will also offer hybrid options across its product line, marking “the historic end of cars that only have an internal combustion engine.”
The e-cars will fight for buyers in an increasingly crowded market. Segment pioneer Tesla Inc. will start manufacturing its third model this week, while German brands Mercedes-Benz and Audi and British producer Jaguar Land Rover have presented prototypes capable of driving 400 kilometers (310 miles) or more on a fully-charged battery. Some of the cars are slated to go on sale as early as next year. Automakers are speeding up development of green vehicles as emissions regulations tighten and city governments get serious about banning polluting traffic.
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“People increasingly demand electrified cars,” Volvo Chief Executive Officer Hakan Samuelsson said in the statement. “Volvo Cars has stated that it plans to have sold a total of 1 million electrified cars by 2025. This is how we are going to do it.”
Volvo Cars, which is owned by Chinese billionaire Li Shufu, said in April that its first electric vehicle will be a Chinese-made compact car that starts deliveries in 2019. The model will be exported globally and be based on the platform of the company’s XC40 compact SUV. Of the five new cars, two will be part of Volvo’s high-performance Polestar sub-brand. China is becoming the biggest market for electric cars, and authorities are looking at ambitious production quotas that would be enforced with fines on manufacturers.