Two legacy car companies, Jaguar and Volvo, announced recently that they will sell only battery electric cars, joining Bentley and General Motors this year to embrace zero-emissions transport.
Jaguar, maker of the legendary E-type and now part of Tata’s Jaguar Land Rover group, plans to have a zero-emissions lineup by 2030. Over the next five years it will launch six battery electric vehicles with the first one going on sale in 2024.
The company said it intends to maintain its three U.K. plants to electrify the range, centering on its facility in Solihull, and will spend around U.S. $3.5 billion a year on electrification technologies and developing connected vehicle services.
Jaguar Land Rover also said it was investing in developing hydrogen fuel cells in anticipation of a future shift to the currently more expensive, less widespread technology.
The carmaker will have prototypes using hydrogen fuel cells on the roads in some countries within the next year, it said, as part of a long-term investment plan.
Sweden’s Volvo, owned by Chinese vehicle company Geely, also said it would only produce EVS by 2030 and, like Tesla, will only sell them online. By 2025, it wants sales to be evenly split between EVs and hybrids.
Volvo’s targets are aggressive considering it has managed to get one fully electric vehicle, the XC40 Recharge, to market thus far. Traditional carmakers cannot delay the switch to EVs without losing customers and falling foul of regulators, especially in Europe where emissions targets are ever more stringent.
“There is no long-term future for cars with an internal combustion engine,” Volvo’s Chief Technology Officer Henrik Green said in a statement for American press. The transition to selling only EVs will allow Volvo “to meet the expectations of our customers and be a part of the solution when it comes to fighting climate change,” he added.
Volvo unveiled a new small electric SUV, the C40 Recharge, similar to the XC40.
Both carmakers face the challenge of retaining the feel and performance of their gasoline-era heritage while transitioning to battery power.
Another luxury car brand, Bentley Motors, owned by Germany’s Volkswagen. The high-end automaker said in November its model range will be fully electric by 2030, while in January General Motors Co. said it aimed to have a zero-emission lineup by 2035.
This year began with bang when it comes to the electric mobility. Car groups worldwide are pursuing zero-emission strategies to meet stringent emissions targets in Europe and China. President Joe Biden’s administration is preparing a similar regulation for the U.S in close coordination with Canada.
A number of countries and states, including the United Kingdom and France, California, Quebec and British Columbia, announced bans on the sale of new fossil fuel vehicles by target dates that range from 2030 to 2040. On top of regional bans, Canada and the U.S. also floated the idea of banning gasoline-powered passenger cars and trucks across North America.