Volvo Giving up on Diesels

Volvo Giving up on Diesels

Volvo is jumping onto the anti-diesel bandwagon, the Swedish carmaker announcing that it plans to completely eliminate diesel engines from its line-up.

Back in February Volvo Cars CEO HÃ¥kan Samuelsson confirmed the company has stopped allocating capital to the development of new internal combustion engines, both diesel and gasoline.

Volvo's new plant in Charleston, South Carolina, isn't quite up and humming yet, but the company's next-generation S60 sedan, which is scheduled to be built there, will go without a diesel engine option. Come 2019, every Volvo in the lineup will be available as a mild-hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or battery-powered electric vehicle.

Speaking to Financial Times, Volvo's chief executive Hakan Samuelsson said: "We're not saying diesel is more dirty, but it's more complicated and more expensive".

It is set to be launched within the next few weeks, becoming the first modern Volvo to be produced without a diesel option. "The new S60 represents the next step in that commitment", he has said.

Volvo made headlines past year by announcing all new cars from 2019 will feature some form of hybridisation or electrification.

Instead, the S60 will be launched with a choice of petrol and plug-in hybrid powertrains, with mild-hybrid versions to follow next year.

Meanwhile, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will cease to offer diesel versions for its Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Jeep and Maserati brands by 2022, as chief executive Sergio Marchionne sees hybrid vehicles as the way to meet goals on Carbon dioxide reduction - with diesel sales unlikely to recover.

As well as market trends in Europe, the decision also reflects the key target market for the S60: the United States, where diesel accounts for a small percentage of sales.

The transition Samuelsson is talking about won't happen overnight.