“From today’s perspective, Volvo will not develop any more new generation diesel engines”. Such was the remarkable statement of the company’s CEO Hakan Samuelsson in an interview with German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (source Automotive News Europe), pointing at the rising costs of reducing NOx (nitrogen oxide) emissions as the European emission standards become ever stricter.
Perhaps aware of the impact of his words – or hoping to avoid misinterpretation – Samuelsson later told Reuters he believed diesel would still play a crucial role in the next few years to further reduce CO2 emissions. As diesels use less fuel than petrol engines, for most OEMs they are necessary to achieve the 2021 average fleet target of 95 g/km.
In the interview with the German daily, Volvo’s CEO had stated Volvo would continue enhancing the current engine generation, which launched in 2013 and will probably stay in production until 2023. Nonetheless, Volvo – like most other carmakers – is investing heavily in electric and hybrid cars. With diesel-powered cars becoming more expensive to develop, plug-in hybrids are an ever more attractive alternative.
Picture copyright: Volvo Cars, 2017