SINGAPORE (Dec 31): From 2019, only hybrid or electric cars will be rolling off the production lines at Volvo. The Swedish carmaker, now owned by Chinese company Geely, said in 2017 that it would stop producing cars that rely only on fuel combustion engines. It is set to launch five electric car models by 2021, as well as offer hybrid models across its whole product line.

While Tesla grabs the most headlines, major carmakers — from Nissan Motor Co to BMW and General Motors Co — have long focused their efforts on producing electric cars as awareness and demand build. At the same time, governments are mulling bans on the sale of new petrol- and diesel-powered vehicles, as soon as in the next 10 years. In Norway, more than half of new car sales in 2017 were those of electric vehicles (EVs). Those sales were likely helped along by generous tax breaks for car owners and free or subsidised parking and charging.

Is this the end of the road for the internal combustion engine? Is 2019 the year EV sales overtake those of vehicles that run on only fossil fuel?

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