Volvo Cars plans to end production of all diesel-powered Volvo Car models by early 2024.
In a few months from now, the company’s last diesel-powered car will be built, making Volvo Cars one of the first legacy car makers to take this step.
The automaker recently announced the end of diesels at an appropriate event, Climate Week NYC.
The milestone follows the automaker’s decision last year to exit the development of new combustion engines. In November 2022, Volvo sold its stake in Aurobay, the joint venture company that harbored all of its remaining combustion engine assets.
“We’re no longer spending a single krona of our R&D budget on developing new internal combustion engines,” per the Swedish company. "By 2030 we plan to sell only fully electric cars and by 2040 we aim to be a climate neutral company. That clear roadmap towards all-out electrification represents one of the most ambitious transformation plans of any legacy car maker.”
Electric powertrains are superior to combustion engines: They generate less noise, less vibration, less servicing costs for our customers and zero tailpipe emissions, says Jim Rowan, chief executive officer at Volvo Cars.
The company says it’s “all in on electrification because it’s the right thing to do.”
The recent Global Climate Stocktake report issued by the United Nations underlined the urgency of the climate emergency faced by humanity, as well as the need for action.
“What the world needs now, at this critical time for our planet and humanity, is leadership,” Rowan says. “It is high time for industry and political leaders to be strong and decisive, and deliver meaningful policies and actions to fight climate change. We’re committed to doing our part and encourage our peers as well as political leaders around the globe to do theirs.”
Only four years ago, the diesel engine was Volvo’s bread and butter in Europe, as was the case for most other car makers. The majority of cars sold on the continent in 2019 were powered by a diesel engine, while electrified models were only just beginning to make their mark.
That trend has largely reversed itself since then, driven by changing market demand and tighter emission regulations as well as a focus on electrification. The majority of Volvo’s sales in Europe now consists of electrified cars, with either a fully electric or plug-in hybrid powertrain, he says.
Fewer diesel cars on the streets also has a positive effect on urban air quality. While diesels emit less CO2 than petrol engines, they emit more gases such as nitrogen oxide that have an adverse effect on air quality, especially in built-up areas.