Volvo announced at Climate Week NYC today that it will stop producing diesel vehicles by early 2024. It said the decision illustrates how rapidly both the car industry and consumer demand are changing in the face of the climate crisis.
As recently as 2019, the majority of Volvo’s cars sold in Europe were diesel-powered, as was the case for many other car makers. Electric vehicles accounted for a very small percentage of sales. That trend has reversed itself. Today, the majority of Volvo’s vehicles are either fully electric or feature a plug-in electric hybrid powertrain.
In addition to eliminating diesel-powered cars, Volvo plans to be fully electric by 2030 and is aiming to be climate-neutral by 2040. Those targets follow the decision the automaker made last November when it sold its stake in Aurobay, a joint venture containing all of its combustion engine assets. As a result, Volvo no longer spends money on gasoline or diesel engine development.
Speaking at Climate Week in New York City, Jim Rowan, the chief executive at Volvo Cars, stated the company is fully focused on creating a lineup of premium, fully electric cars. “Electric powertrains are our future and superior to combustion engines. They generate less noise, less vibration, less servicing costs for our customers, and zero tailpipe emissions,” he said.
To further emphasize that point, Anders Karrberg, Volvo’s chief sustainability officer, will attend an event organized by the Accelerating to Zero Coalition at this year’s Climate Week. Launched at the COP27 climate summit, the A2Z Coalition provides a multi-stakeholder platform for signatories of the Glasgow Declaration on Zero Emission Vehicles. That platform’s objective is to reduce tailpipe emissions to zero on new vehicle sales by 2040.
Meanwhile, Volvo is moving ahead by launching a full slate of electric vehicles. Earlier this year, it launched the EX30, the company’s cheapest EV, which starts at $34,950. It debuted the EX90 at CES in January, which begins deliveries in early 2024. Eventually, the automaker plans to launch a minimum of six EVs by 2026, including an electric version of the XC60 and a new EM90 minivan.