More and more mainstream car makers are jumping on the electric vehicle bandwagon, in the hopes of following US firm, Tesla, and securing their place in the more eco-conscious marketplace of the modern age.
Tech Radar reports that Swedish manufacturer, Volvo, has this week pledged to turn every single one of the cars it manufactures into an electric vehicle from 2019 onwards.
This sounds impressive at first glance, but the reality is that Volvo’s plans will not be identical to Tesla’s EV-only approach in the short term. Instead, it will meet its goal by offering some full EVs alongside a multitude of part-electric hybrid models.
The upshot of this is that anyone who wants to buy a Volvo after the target deadline will be able to benefit from at least some form of electric battery and motor setup in the power train, even if there is still a petrol or diesel combustion engine sharing the space under the bonnet as well.
Of course, anyone who has been interested in Tesla hiring or ownership will know that significant progress has been made in recent years, when it comes to EV performance, range and tech features. This has led to the firm managing to overtake many established rivals in terms of its valuation, even if it still falls well short of matching them in terms of sales.
The big turning point for Tesla is likely to come with the release of the Model 3, later this month. Priced at less than £40,000 and packing similar features to its big brother, the Model S, it will aim to bring long range electric motoring to the masses, all while throwing a spanner in the works for premium European brands like Volvo, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
Volvo’s plans for EV expansion include fully electric models, some of which will fall under its performance-oriented Polestar sub-brand. This will no doubt lead to direct rivals to the Model S being produced over the next half decade, ushering in a race amongst manufacturers to build the fastest road legal EV of them all.
Tesla is also expanding into other market segments, and this week, it was announced that it would be building the world’s biggest battery storage facility, to deal with the energy generated by a wind farm in Australia. The wider applications of the technologies it has developed for its electric cars are another reason to suspect that it will continue to disrupt many different industries going forwards.
This is all great news for those looking to buy or hire cars, because it means that the breadth of choice will become greater and competition amongst leading brands will be healthier than ever.
The limitations which used to shackle EVs are falling away one by one, as new breakthroughs are made. Tesla is leading the charge, at least for the moment. From 2020 onwards, things may begin to look a little different, as other manufacturers begin to deliver on their own promises.