Volvo’s last diesel car will roll off the line “by early 2024,” the company said on Tuesday.
The writing’s been on the wall for several years. As far back as 2017, the Geely-owned automaker indicated it would wrap up production of diesel cars by around now.
A few years later, Volvo came out with a more ambitious goal, pledging to exclusively sell electric vehicles by 2030.
“Only four years ago, the diesel engine was our bread and butter in Europe,” Volvo said in its statement on Tuesday. A heck of a lot’s changed since then; hybrid and fully electric vehicles made up more than half of all European car sales in July 2023, while diesel cars represented just 14% of sales in the same period.
Though Volvo still produces gas-powered cars, the company promised that it’s “no longer spending a single krona of our R&D budget on developing new internal combustion engines.”
Tesla’s early focus on electric vehicles, and the 2015 VW emissions scandal known as Dieselgate, were two key factors driving Volvo and other automakers towards this conclusion.
Volvo’s former CEO Hakan Samuelsson said back 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.”