Volvo is to become the first mainstream car manufacturer to produce only electric or hybrid vehicles.
The Swedish firm’s president, Hakan Samuelsson, said it “marks the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car”.
It means that from 2019 all of its models will have an electric motor – so they will either be pure electric cars or hybrids that combine electric and conventional engines.
Mr Samuelsson said he hoped there would be strong demand in the UK.
He added: “The infrastructure for charging is a limitation but I think we have this twin engine which is much more suitable.
“If you have a garage of your own you can charge it overnight.”
Volvo, owned by China’s Geely, will launch five fully electric cars between 2019 and 2021.
It has said it plans to have sold a million electric vehicles by 2025.
The car manufacturer said the announcement underlines its commitment to minimising environmental impact and making cities cleaner.
It has committed to having a climate-neutral manufacturing operation by 2025.
Jon Wakefield, managing director of Volvo UK, told Sky News: “Our customers do want cleaner cities and this is our way of providing that consumer demand.”
He said prices were yet to be determined though pure electric vehicles were likely to be “at the top end of that price point” with a “mild hybrid” at the more affordable end.
Greenpeace UK clean air campaigner Paul Morozzo said Volvo had “recognised the huge gains to be made by leading the way in electric”.
Image: Aimed at the mass market, the Tesla Model 3 is on sale in mid-July
US firm Tesla announced on Monday that its first mass-market electric car, the Model 3, will go on sale on 28 July after passing regulatory requirements.
Latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders show 59,000 new alternatively fuelled vehicles have been bought in the UK so far this year.
This represents a market share of 4.2%, up from 3.2% last year.
The Government published long-awaited plans to cut pollution in May, with measures including a scrappage scheme for the worst polluting vehicles, retrofitting bus and lorry fleets, removing road humps to improve traffic flow and encouraging more electric cars.
Air pollution is linked to an estimated 40,000 early deaths a year in the UK and 37 out of 43 areas are exceeding legal European Union limits for the key pollutant nitrogen dioxide, much of which comes from diesel engines.