Volvo will build plug-in hybrid versions of all its models (Photo: Volvo Cars)

Volvo Cars, responding to growing anti-diesel sentiment, said it will build a full electric car that will be on sale by 2019.

The Swedish car brand also said it expects that, in two years, one of out 10 Volvos sold will be electrical. To achieve this, it plans to introduce plug-in hybrid versions of all its models.

“We believe that the time has come for electrified cars to cease being a niche technology and enter the mainstream," Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson said in a press release.

Volvo and other car brands have in recent weeks emphasized the growth potential of their EVs as prospects for diesel-powered vehicles have dimmed. The powertrain technology, which is installed in roughly half of all cars in Europe, has taken a major hit from Volkswagen's admission that it could only adhere to US emission standards by cheating on the tests. The German carmaker is now facing 10s of billions of euros in unplanned costs to pay potential fines, defend itself against lawsuits and recall millions of cars globally.

Volvo, which is controlled by China's Geely Group, said that, as part of its electrification strategy, it will build an entirely new range of smaller EVs. But first, it will introduce plug-in hybrid versions of its popular 90 series and 60 series cars, which are based on the carmaker's new scalable product architecture.