From 2023, you won't be able to buy a new Volvo without an electric motor.
As part of a radical move to increase sales of its electrified cars, every newly launched Volvo will come as either a hybrid, a plug-in hybrid or as a fully electric vehicle by 2019, with the brand's entire portfolio of models following within four years.
Five new electric cars
Volvo will also build five new fully electric cars between 2019 and 2021. Two of these will be sold under Volvo's new Tesla-rivalling performance sub-brand, Polestar.
The remaining three new Volvo electric cars will be all-new models, rather than being derived from existing cars. The electric vehicles will be offered with two battery choices – in much the same way as Tesla offers different varieties of both the Model S and Model X depending on desired range and performance.
It's understood that one option will focus on extended range, while the other will maximise power. That second option will still have a range of around 310 miles, meaning you'd be able to travel further than in a Nissan Leaf, Renault Zoe or entry-level Model S.
While it hasn't been confirmed what form Volvo's all-electric models will take, the most likely candidate is the upcoming XC40 small SUV.
Volvo hasn't said how much it will charge for its electric models, but has re-iterated that it intends to create premium cars. The brand wants to sell one million electric cars globally by 2025.
A range of hybrid vehicles
Throughout the rest of Volvo's product range, new cars will be offered as either a hybrid, a plug-in hybrid or as a mild hybrid. Mild hybrids are the least noticeable form of electrification, as the small electric motor only provides extra power when accelerating away from junctions or traffic lights.
That means time is limited for Volvo's current range of petrol and diesel-engined cars, although the Swedish car maker already offers plug-in hybrids, most recently on the XC60 small SUV.
The top 10 electric cars currently on sale
With Volvo creating its own range of electric cars, it's going up against established models from Renault, Nissan and Volkswagen, as well as its most direct rival, the Model S. Here are our top 10 favourite electric cars.
10. Volkswagen e-Up
The regular Volkswagen Up is one of our favourite city cars, and this electric version is just as practical and good to drive; it feels almost entirely uncompromised by its conversion to electric power. It's just that unfortunately, it costs twice as much as the petrol models.
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9. Nissan Leaf
One of the more affordable electric models on sale, the Leaf is about the same size as a Vauxhall Astra and similarly easy to drive. There are two battery options to choose from: a 24kWh that allows a theoretical range between charges of 124 miles, and a 30kWh that extends this to 155 miles. The latter is only available on the more expensive trim levels, though.
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8. Toyota Mirai
The Mirai is a hydrogen-fuelled car, which means that you'll need to fill it up with hydrogen at specially chosen filling stations, of which there are currently very few. It's powered by a single 152bhp electric motor and can travel for up to 400 miles between refills. We found it to be quiet and well controlled, but at around £66,000 it's certainly pricey, and with limited volumes coming to the UK it's likely to be a very rare sight.
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