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Volvo is about to become the first major automaker to phase out gas engines entirely

On Wednesday, Chinese-owned Swedish automaker Volvo announced that by 2019, every new model it introduces will have either an electric or a hybrid gas-electric engine, making Volvo the first major automaker to ditch traditional gasoline engines. "This announcement marks the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car," said Volvo president Håkan Samuelsson. The Swedish car company said that it will launch five full electric cars between 2019 and 2021, three of them under the Volvo brand and the other two from its Polestar subsidiary; it will continue selling combustion-engine models introduced before 2019, at least for now.

The shift toward electric cars "is likely to have been influenced by Chinese auto company Geely, which bought Volvo in 2010," CNNMoney reports, explaining that China has been quick to adopt electric vehicles — more than half of the electric cars in the world are currently sold in China, according to Germany's Center for Automotive Research.