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.

About the Author

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.
  • Eco Logical

    The ‘CMA’ architecture still has ICE in its veins 🙁

    • That’s smart- let’s b***h and complain every time a step forward is made because it’s not a 100% dedicated to whatever we think is the “right way”. Perfectly “Logical” right? /sarcasm

      • Eco Logical

        Who’s b***hing and complaining?

        I’m pointing out that by retaining compatibility with the ICE drive train the CMA architecture is a compromise that will make the BEV version non-competitive. The most obvious compromise is the lack of a ‘skateboard’ battery layout which is known to be the best architecture for BEVs i.e. virtually all BEV manufacturers use the skateboard battery layout due to its ability to obtain a low center of gravity and even weight distribution.

        Can’t take constructive criticism Jo?

        • What’s constructive about a frowny face? You make good comments regularly, man- this one’s (the CMA one, not THIS this one, which is well reasoned and stated) just not worth typing out, IMO.

  • Epicurus

    Volvo is the first major ICE auto manufacturer to announce the anticipated complete conversion to plug-in vehicle production, isn’t it?

    When will GM and Ford do likewise?

    • Yes! (psst- don’t tell Eco Logical that … he’s only here to complain about ICEs and tell everyone how logical he is)

  • Al

    Plugins do not make a lot of financial sense for most buyers whose regular use is under 100 miles. It is great for car dealers since they still need all of the regular servicing and plus there is the extra markup for the plugin variant. Dealers will really push these unlike EVs. However it is great for the environment most people would probably do most of their driving using electrons. This would make them a great candidate for EVs next time around.

    • Again with “regular use” BS. Regular use for a lot of people is driving alone in a car with 5 seats and 4 doors. By your argument, it doesn’t make a lot of financial sense to buy a car with more than 1 seat or 1 door, since most buyers’ regular use won’t require it. Do you not see how crazy that sounds?