Volvo says no more diesel engines, the future is electric


Hakan Samuelsson, chief executive officer of Volvo Cars, speaks during a news conference to announce the company's earnings in Gothenburg, Sweden, on Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013. Volvo Car Group will upgrade the model line-up with the aim of winning Chinese customers away from luxury-vehicle market leaders Bayerische Motoren Werke AG and Audi AG. Photographer: Linus Hook/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Volvo Cars has come down with a case of electric fever, and the cure is “no more diesel engines.” The company’s CEO, Håkan Samuelsson, recently told German publication Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that Volvo’s current diesel engines may well be the last of their kind. Samuelsson said that the technology is necessary to meet upcoming European carbon emission standards, which require OEMs to drop from 130g/km to just 95g/km in 2021.

But the outlook farther ahead involves regulations that will also severely limit nitrogen oxides (NOx). As a result, the company will devote its energy to electrification instead.

As we reported earlier this week, NOx are noxious and linked to 38,000 premature deaths in 2015 alone. Contributing to that body count is evidently beyond the pale for an automaker which has built an impressive reputation for safety. The news is all the more remarkable given that the bulk of its sales in Europe are diesel-engined vehicles. Right now, Volvo uses a 2.0L diesel engine that shares much with the 2.0L gasoline engine that we get here in the US in the S90, V90, and XC90 models.Samuelsson said that Volvo’s first purely electric vehicle will arrive in 2019. He also paid a mighty compliment to Elon Musk’s EV outfit. “It must be acknowledged that Tesla has managed to offer such a car for which the people are queuing. In the area, we should also have space, with high quality and attractive design,” he told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

 
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