Volvo Quits Diesel, Shifts its Focus to Electrification

Earlier this week, Volvo Cars’ CEO Håkan Samuelsson announced that the company’s current lineup of Drive-E diesel engines would be the last such engines produced by the Swedish car brand. Instead, he says, Volvo’s engineering focus has now switched to electric and electrified vehicles.

Volvo is aggressively pushing development on its new “Modular Electrification Platform” (MEP), which will serve as the basis for a number of cars- including the company’s first long-range electric car. That model is expected to cost between 35 and 40,000 USD when it arrives on US shores in 2019 with a 250 mile range.

 

Volvo CMA Platform


“That’s what I put in as the prerequisite for the United States,” said Volvo’s US chief, Lex Kerssemakers, back in March. “If I want to make a point in the United States, if I want to make volumes, that’s what I believe I need.”

Volvo executives have been giving credit to American electric car maker, Tesla, for kick-starting demand for electric and hybrid vehicles in the US and China. Vehicles that play into Volvo’s stated mission of creating socially responsible, human-focused products. Samuelsson said as much when he was quoted in Reuters, saying that, “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.”

Samuelsson hinted that Volvo- who has managed to stay clear of any diesel emission scandals, so far– could continue producing its current diesel engines until 2023. Diesel still represents about 50% of the market in Europe, although that percentage continues to fall in the wake of Volkswagen’s “Dieselgate” cheating. After that, Volvo will- officially- be done with diesel.

 

Source | Images: Volvo, via Electrek.

 

Jo Borrás

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.