The change aims to happen by 2030.
Volvo has apparently heard Ford's request for automakers to support California's new zero-emissions standards prior to President-elect Joe Biden assuming office on January 20, 2021. The Financial Times reports that Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson has gone on record stating he wants the company to be an electric-only brand within the next decade. "I would be surprised if we wouldn't deliver only electric cars from 2030," he said at a conference this week.
Previously, the automaker announced a plan for half of its global sales to be all-electric models by 2025. Samuelsson stopped short of declaring when exactly Volvo will cease building combustion engines but that 2030 goal could probably be met given the rapid pace the industry is currently undergoing.
Just this year, for example, Volvo aims to have 20 percent of all global sales being electrified vehicles, which includes the Volvo XC60 PHEV. The Swedish brand just introduced its first-ever all-electric model, the XC40 Recharge. Samuelsson also told his audience it is important to set strict deadlines for the end of combustion engines as a way to push consumers towards all-electric powertrains. This would be preferable than, say, offering cash incentives.
"The way forward would be to have clear rules on when we need to exit the combustion engine," he said. "Once you have realized that the petrol and diesel engine are really not part of the future, it's rather easy to see you have to move fast into the new world."
California isn't alone in its quest for new vehicles to be pure battery electrics. The UK also recently announced a new plan which, if enacted, will ban the sales of gasoline and diesel-powered new vehicles beginning in 2030 - five years earlier than when California's ban takes effect.
Volvo clearly sees this major industry-wide change and understands it's best to start planning now. "Volvo will be very careful and deliver only electric engines before anybody has legal requirements for this," Samuelsson added.