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Electric car shift much faster than expected

Volvo has announced that it will only sell all-electric or hybrid cars by 2019, while new research suggests that electric cars will be cheaper than traditional models before 2030.

Volvo has announced that it will only sell all-electric or hybrid cars by 2019, while new research suggests that electric cars will be cheaper than traditional models before 2030. 

Volvo’s announcement means that its entire car portfolio will have electric motors in just two years, paving the way for what it calls “a new chapter in automotive history”.

Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars, said the decision was based on changing customer demands.

“This is about the customer. People increasingly demand electrified cars, and we want to respond to our customers’ current and future needs”, he said.

“This announcement marks the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car. Volvo Cars has stated that it plans to have sold a total of one million electrified cars by 2025. When we said it we meant it. This is how we are going to do it.”

‘Momentous inflection point’

Volvo’s bold announcement confirms the rapid shift in uptake of low emission vehicles, which has continually surpassed expectations.

New research from analysts Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) has revealed that the rollout of electric vehicles is taking place far faster than experts had previously predicted.

By 2030, BNEF estimates that it will be cheaper over the lifetime of a car to buy an electric model in most countries.  

“We see a momentous inflection point for the global auto industry in the second half of the 2020s”, said lead advanced transport analyst at BNEF, Colin McKerracher.

“Consumers will find that upfront selling prices for electric vehicles are comparable or lower than those for average internal combustion engine vehicles in almost all big markets by 2029.” 

Government support

The UK has an attractive incentive programme in place for businesses, including tax breaks and grants for workplace charging stations and eligible vehicles.

The Energy Saving Trust has produced a useful video guide that outlines all the different vehicle technologies available and who would benefit most from each.