AutosVolvo produces its last diesel car, eyes future in electrification

Volvo produces its last diesel car, eyes future in electrification

Volvo XC90 – the last Volvo with a Diesel engine
Volvo XC90 – the last Volvo with a Diesel engine
Images source: © Press materials | Volvo

9:28 PM EDT, March 27, 2024, updated: 6:31 AM EDT, March 28, 2024

Volvo has recently marked the end of an era by ceasing the production of passenger cars powered by diesel engines. The last vehicle produced, a blue XC90, is destined for the World of Volvo museum rather than the customer's hands.

A few years ago, diesel models comprised more than half of Volvo's sales, a trend that continued into 2019. Yet in 2017, Volvo's then-president, Hakan Samuelsson, announced a pivotal shift: the company would stop developing diesel engines and eventually phase them out. That future has now arrived. On March 26th, the last diesel-powered Volvo rolled off the production line in Torslanda, Sweden. Moreover, Volvo's Ghent factory completed its final diesel engine production in February—a V60. Those interested in purchasing a diesel Volvo should act quickly, as dealerships still have a limited stock.

Volvo's diesel engine journey began 45 years ago with the 244 GL D6, introduced in 1979. This model featured a six-cylinder Volkswagen LT delivery truck engine, which, despite its mere 110 hp, started Volvo's long-standing experimentation with diesel. Over the years, Volvo also leveraged a 2.5-liter TDI from Volkswagen. A significant milestone was reached in 2001 with Volvo's first in-house diesel engine launch. This 5-cylinder unit, manufactured in Skövde, was a perfect match for the V70 model and quickly became a bestseller. It even featured in a sporty version, the S60 Challenge, and was adapted by Volvo Penta for marine use.

  • Volvo XC90 – the last Volvo with a diesel engine
  • Volvo XC90 – the last Volvo with a diesel engine
[1/2] Volvo XC90 – the last Volvo with a diesel engineImages source: © Press materials | Volvo

In 2008, Volvo expanded its engine offering with the 1.6 Drive-e, which was developed in collaboration with the French PSA group. Notably, this engine was praised for its fuel efficiency and was installed in models ranging from the compact C30 to the flagship S80, where it modestly delivered 109 hp.

The V60 D6 plug-in hybrid, introduced in 2012, represented Volvo's first foray into plug-in hybrid technology with a diesel engine, combining a 215 hp combustion engine with a 70 hp electric one. Despite its impressive 621-mile combined range, diesel plug-in hybrids did not become a lasting part of Volvo's lineup, which has since shifted towards gasoline plug-ins.

In 2013, Volvo launched the VEA, a new family of efficient diesel engines that shared many features with their gasoline counterparts. Due to their lower fuel consumption, they became especially popular in SUVs.

Volvo is proud of its transition from diesel, highlighting it as a significant step towards the brand's goal of complete electrification by 2030 and ultimately achieving climate neutrality by 2040. Already, one-third of all Volvos sold worldwide are fully electric, with sales of these models seeing a remarkable 70 percent increase last year. This transition comes despite delays; the EX30 has just launched after a few months, and the anticipated flagship EX90 is predicted to face customer deliveries up to two years behind schedule, partly due to software development challenges.

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