Internal combustion engines are on the way out, with the first major car manufacturer stopping production in favour of electric or hybrid.
From 2019, any new cars launched by car manufacturer Volvo will be partially or completely battery powered. The company said this marks a historic end to petrol- and diesel-powered engines and puts electrification at the core of its business.
The need to reach the carbon emissions target in the EU and satisfy the increasing number of people wanting electric cars has spurred Volvo on to launch five fully-electric cars across its range between 2019 and 2021. Two of these cars will be revived from the Polestars high-performance brand.
The existing range of petrol and diesel engines will be switched to a hybrid engine of some form, signing a death warrant for the development of next-generation diesel engines. The cost of diesel will get more and more expensive due to the after-treatment required on a diesel exhaust to cut diesel emissions.
With one-quarter of the UK carbon emissions coming from road transport, the potential savings from a universal shift to electric cars are massive. This announcement is set to turn the automotive industry upside down and investors need to get ahead of the game by providing infrastructure, such as charging points and battery technology, to enable us to embrace the electric revolution that is taking place.
The British government has promised to inject £250m into the research and development of electric battery development, with the production of battery packs in this country something to be pursued. We already produce 23,000 batteries at the Nissan site in Sunderland; however, with fierce international competition, global demand is only going to rise. This is an enormous opportunity for manufacturers of batteries such as the Odyssey PC680 battery and suppliers such as http://www.grovesbatteries.co.uk/optima-odyssey.aspx?BatteryId=573 to step up to the plate and satisfy demand.
Globally, the number of electric cars on the roads in 2016 broke the two million mark, with some parts of the world moving faster than others. Volvo remains at the forefront of new technology as its Chinese owner pours investment into new models, enhanced safety systems and improved facilities.
By the mid-2020s, electric cars will outcompete the internal combustion engine. They are our future, leaving climate-wrecking fossil fuels a thing of the past.