Volvo announces end of gas-only engine production by 2019

On Wednesday, auto manufacturer Volvo announced that all new models from 2019 and beyond would incorporate some form of electric engine by being fully electric or hybrid. This move will essentially end Volvo’s production of strictly internal combustion engines for new models.

The New York Times does point out that older models still in production by 2019 and beyond will still have the option to be produced as strictly gas engines. But considering this is the biggest move by a major automaker towards electrification, it still carries significant weight.

“This announcement marks the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car," said President and Chief Executive of Volvo Cars Håkan Samuelsson in a statement.

According to The New York Times, hybrids have accounted for only about two-percent of car sales in the United States over the last year, with sales of strictly electric cars being even more minimal.

But that could also change if more car companies head towards a decision of electrification, like this move by Volvo. The Swedish-based car company also cited demand by consumers and bringing their carbon footprint down as further reasons for the move.

While major hurdles for all-electric vehicles remain lack of public charging stations (just think of how many gas stations litter highways and roads) and limited ranges for batteries, there is no doubt that a shift in mindset could help spur these developments as well as bringing costs down.

With a need to find ways to reduce carbon emissions in combating climate change, a major car manufacturer announcing their commitment to electric engines (and ultimately the environment) benefits us all. And maybe that road trip you take in an all-electric powered vehicle on airless tires will soon be commonplace.

This could mean a whole new definition to road trips. Photo: Rowan Heuvel/Unsplash

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