Volvo's current line of four-cylinder engines will be its last gasoline engines, according to a recent report. The Swedish automaker plans to offer a hybrid or all-electric powertrain in every vehicle it makes by 2019, but a Road & Track report claims it has already shifted resources away from the development of new gasoline engines.
It makes sense for a company apparently so invested in the electric future to stop funding development of gasoline engines. Volvo made a similar proclamation about halting development of diesel engines last year. But expect Volvo to get a lot of mileage out of its current range of gasoline engines nonetheless.
When it announced plans to electrify its entire lineup last year, Volvo said that some of its cars would be all-electric, but that others will use plug-in hybrid and mild-hybrid powertrains. Volvo already has a handful of plug-in hybrids in its lineup, and mild hybrids are relatively cheap to develop. Hybrids, in general, offer a more familiar experience to drivers than all-electric models. So it's likely that the majority of Volvos will retain internal-combustion engines, for the time being.
At some point in the future, Volvo's current line of gasoline engines will exceed their shelf life. That, along with stricter emissions standards in some markets, could finally cause Volvo to go all-electric. But that won't happen for a few years at least. Through 2021, Volvo only plans to add three all-electric models under its main brand, plus two for the Polestar performance brand.