In a move towards EVs...
Swedish automaker Volvo has announced that by early 2024, it will cease the production of diesel cars, marking a significant step towards embracing cleaner and more sustainable automobile technologies. This move aligns with Volvo’s visionary roadmap outlined a few years back, highlighting its commitment to a greener future and setting the stage for its ambitious goal of exclusively selling electric vehicles (EVs) by 2030.
The decision doesn’t come as a surprise, considering the signals Volvo sent out as early as 2017, hinting at wrapping up diesel car production around this time. In its Tuesday statement, Volvo emphasized, “Only four years ago, the diesel engine was our bread and butter in Europe.” However, the landscape of automobile consumption in Europe has undergone a substantial transformation since then, with hybrid and EVs gaining unprecedented momentum. As of July 2023, more than half of all car sales in Europe were hybrid and fully electric vehicles, leaving diesel cars to account for a mere 14% of sales during the same period.
Volvo’s pivot away from internal combustion engines is reflective of a broader industry shift catalyzed by pioneering efforts and early focus on electric vehicles by companies like Tesla and widespread repercussions of the 2015 VW emissions scandal, infamously known as Dieselgate. This scandal played a crucial role in reshaping the industry’s perspective, steering Volvo and its counterparts toward adopting more environmentally conscious approaches.
The words of Volvo’s former CEO, Hakan Samuelsson, in 2017, resonate strongly with this paradigm shift, “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.”
While Volvo continues to produce gas-powered cars for now, it has made it unequivocally clear that it is not allocating any part of its R&D budget to the development of new internal combustion engines. This steadfast focus on electrification and sustainable automobile technologies manifests Volvo’s dedication to playing an integral role in the global transition to cleaner, more sustainable mobility solutions.
The automaker’s commitment to electrification is not just a response to changing consumer preferences and market trends but is also a manifestation of its responsibility towards environmental conservation. By halting diesel car production and channeling its efforts and resources towards the development of electric vehicles, Volvo is not only staying abreast with the industry's progressive trajectory but is also contributing to a future where mobility and environmental preservation coexist harmoniously.