The shift towards mass electric car usage took a major step forward this week thanks to big news involving automakers Tesla and Volvo—and the entire country of France.
This week marked the long-awaited rolling out of Tesla's Model 3 from the assembly line. It will be the first mass-market vehicle to be released from Elon Musk's ground-breaking company, which has solely focused on luxury electric car models thus far. With over 300,000 pre-orders already in the books, the Model 3 will cost approximately 30,000 Euros and gets passengers 346 kilometres on a single charge.
Meanwhile, Volvo stole some of Tesla's thunder by announcing that all of its own models launched after 2019 will either be fully electric or hybrids—a bold step that no traditional automaker had previously taken. In a press release that surfaced on Wednesday, the Sweden-based automaker stated its intentions to launch five fully electric cars between 2019 and 2021, which will be supplemented by a number of methods that are capable of replacing the internal combustion engine.
"This announcement marks the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car," said Volvo president and chief executive Hakan Samuelsson. "Volvo Cars has stated that it plans to have sold a total of 1-million electrified cars by 2025. When we said it we meant it. This is how we are going to do it."
Finally, France publicized an ambitious long-term goal that now puts pressure on other countries around the world to follow suit and make a similar pledge. It vowed that it will end the sale of gasoline and diesel powered vehicles by 2040, and attempt to become fully carbon neutral by 2050.
All of these moves should collectively accelerate the pace at which electric cars are manufactured and sold. According to the Waterloo-based clean tech company FleetCarma, electric vehicle sales went up 56 per cent in 2016 from 2015, bringing 11,000 more electric vehicles on the road and bringing the grand total of them in the country up to 30,000.