Volvo, the renowned automaker, has announced that it is gearing up to produce its final diesel car by early 2024. This move comes as no surprise, as the company had hinted at phasing out diesel car production as early as 2017. However, Volvo’s commitment to transition exclusively to electric vehicles by 2030 sets a more ambitious goal.
Volvo will cease production of diesel cars by 2024 and has set a goal to exclusively sell electric vehicles by 2030. The company’s decision reflects the changing landscape of the automotive industry, with the popularity of hybrid and electric vehicles surpassing that of diesel cars in Europe.
A Change in the Automotive Landscape
In a statement released on Tuesday, Volvo acknowledged the dramatic shift in the automotive industry, stating, “Only four years ago, the diesel engine was our bread and butter in Europe.” However, the rapid rise in popularity of hybrid and electric vehicles has transformed the market, with these eco-friendly alternatives accounting for over half of all European car sales in July 2023. In stark contrast, diesel car sales represented a mere 14% during the same period.
Volvo’s decision to abandon diesel car production is not without reason. The rise of electric vehicle pioneer Tesla, coupled with the diesel emissions scandal involving Volkswagen in 2015, has prompted automakers like Volvo to reassess their strategies and prioritize the development of electric vehicles. As former CEO Hakan Samuelsson noted in 2017, “We have to recognize that Tesla has managed to offer such a car for which people are lining up. In this area, there should also be space for us, with high quality and attractive design.”
The Future of Volvo
While Volvo continues to manufacture gasoline-powered cars, the company has made it clear that no funds from its research and development budget will be allocated towards the development of new internal combustion engines. This signals a strong commitment to embrace electric mobility as the future of transportation.