Having already committed to producing nothing but electric vehicles by 2030 and being “climate neutral” by 2040, it doesn’t come as a major surprise that Volvo will stop building and selling diesel-fueled vehicles next year. Way back in 2017, Volvo signaled its intention to phase out diesel engines due to rising costs of emissions technologies. Still, hearing that the very last Volvo ever to be fitted with a diesel engine will be built “a few months from now” may raise an eyebrow or two and serves as a clear reminder that in a few short years we’ll be reading similar press releases about gasoline from the Swedish automaker and many others.
There are two clear reasons why Volvo is ditching diesel. The first, according to Volvo Chief Executive Jim Rowan, is that electric is simply better. “Electric powertrains are our future, and superior to combustion engines: they generate less noise, less vibration, less servicing costs for our customers and zero tailpipe emissions,” says Rowan.
The second reason behind the decision to depart the diesel market is similarly clear: climate change. 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.”
Highlighting how quickly things have changed for Volvo, the automaker says that the majority of cars it sold in Europe as recently as 2019 were powered by diesel engines. Now, in the year 2023, the company says “that trend has largely inverted itself since then, driven by changing market demand, tighter emission regulations as well as our focus on electrification. The majority of our sales in Europe now consists of electrified cars, with either a fully electric or plug-in hybrid powertrain.”