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Lex Kerssemakers, senior vice president of Volvo Cars of North America LLC, standing between the Volvo AB XC60, left, and S 90 vehicles. (Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg)

Lex Kerssemakers, senior vice president of Volvo Cars of North America LLC, standing between the Volvo AB XC60, left, and S 90 vehicles. (Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg)

Volvo just announced plans to discard the traditional combustion engine on all of its new automobiles by 2019. Instead, the company intends to sell only battery-powered cars and hybrid cars. The price of oil fell rapidly, with WTI down more than 3% in early U.S. trading on July 5, in part based on this news.

Much is still to be understood about this move by Volvo, but it will be the first major automaker to fully end the use of the traditional combustion engine, and it intends to make this leap very soon. 2019 models are being designed now and will be on the assembly line next year. They begin selling in the second half of 2018, so this is an announcement of imminent revolution, in terms of the snail’s pace of change in the auto industry.

There are rumors that Volvo’s announcement comes in anticipation of an IPO of the once-Swedish carmaker that the Chinese Geely Holding Group has owned since 2010. Volvo’s newfound commitment to electric and hybrid engines could be a boost for the IPO and public trading , at least if one follows the trajectory of electric car startup (and it really is still a startup in relation to the car industry, with only about 84,000 cars sold last year). Tesla TSLA -4.85% has a…