Speaking at a Financial Times event on the future of transport, Hafan Samuelsson, Volvo's chief executive, said that "We're not saying diesel is more dirty, but it is more complicated and more expensive". "We will phase out cars with only an internal combustion engine, with [gasoline] hybrid versions as a transitional option as we move towards full electrification". Kicking-off the move, the firm's new Volvo S60 saloon will be available with petrol and petrol hybrid power only.
In 2017, Volvo confirmed plans to electrify all new models from 2019 onward, with powertrains set to include hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure electric versions.
However, it has now confirmed the new S60 will be the first modern Volvo without a diesel engine. Volvo is aiming for 50 per cent of its vehicle sales to be made up of electric models by 2025.
Although diesels now emit more Carbon dioxide per kilometer than their petrol counterparts, Samuelson said hybridisation will help match figures achieved by diesels.
The S60 will be the last Volvo to launch with conventional, non-hybridised petrol engines as the mild-hybrid derivatives are only expected to come on stream in 2019. "The new S60 represents the next step in that commitment", he has said.
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.
The decision to make a diesel-free S60 doesn't affect Americans. However, the company had not disclosed what would happen to its diesel offerings. The new car's global production base will be in Charleston, South Carolina.