Dear diesel, it’s time to say goodbye

jeudi, 28 mars 2024 10:18
Dear diesel, it’s time to say goodbye

We proudly announced it to the world at Climate Week NYC in September last year, and now it’s becoming a reality: we've built our last diesel car.

Whatever relation you’ve had with our diesel cars – whether you've designed, developed, built, sold, shipped, serviced, bought, driven, cleaned, changed their tires, or simply loved them – this whole article is a tribute to you.

On a cloudy Thursday in early February, our colleagues in Ghent built their last diesel-powered car, a V60. And just the other day, our plant in Torslanda saw its last XC90 diesel car roll off the production line.

These events mark a huge milestone in our company’s 97-year long history. With this move, we’re taking a big step toward our ambitions of becoming a fully electric car maker, as well as achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.

Goodbye diesel, hello electric
For a long time, our diesel engines were synonymous with reliability and efficiency, and they meant a great deal to us for many decades. Indeed, the success of our diesel cars played a significant role in our evolution into a premium brand.

In recent years, the electric revolution has evolved quicker than most of us could have imagined. And it’s largely propelled by tightening regulations around tailpipe emissions, as well as customer demand in response to the climate crisis and a desire for cleaner urban air. Only five years ago, the diesel engine was our bread and butter in Europe, just like it was for most other car makers. The majority of the cars we sold in Europe in 2019 ran on diesel, while electric models were just starting to gain traction.

Today, most of our sales on the continent are electrified cars. Last year, we increased our sales of fully electric cars by 70 per cent, and our global electric market share by 34 per cent. The figures speak for themselves, underscoring that the all-electric direction we’re now heading toward is the right one to take, and we do so with our flag held high.

While our future indeed is fully electric, our mixed portfolio includes some excellent plug-in and mild hybrid models and will act as a perfect bridge toward that future.

A history of pride
Before we say farewell to our diesel cars, let’s take a walk down memory lane and explore how it all began and unfolded. Here are some key milestones in our diesel history:

1979. Neither Sweden nor Europe is a diesel market. Those who buy diesel cars tend to be taxi drivers or long-haul travelers. But people have slowly begun to see the benefits of the more efficient diesel engines and demand is on the rise. So, we listen to our customers and introduce our first-ever diesel car: the Volvo 244 GL D6. The engine is powerful, very efficient and the world’s first six-cylinder diesel engine for passenger cars!

2001. The diesel car scene gains momentum. When we launch the Volvo V70, it’s also finally time for us to introduce our first self-built diesel engine. This five-cylinder piece, manufactured at the Volvo Powertrain plant in Skövde, Sweden, is to become a huge success
and will power many Volvo cars across Europe. It’s made in several different versions and is so powerful that it’s even being used on the racetrack in a car called S60 Challenge. Fun fact: our friends at Volvo Penta decide to make a marine version of this engine.

2008. Time for our next big diesel milestone: the launch of the Drive-E lineup – featuring small yet highly efficient 1.6-litre diesel engines. With the sun on your face and the wind at your back, you can go 1,300 km on a single tank, and C02 emission levels so low that they get classified as ‘green engines’ in Sweden. The Drive-E engines are flexibly built and work well in different Volvo models. And, with their balance of efficiency and performance, they mark a big step forward in diesel technology.

2012. We launch the Volvo V60 D6 plug-in hybrid which is a unique car: it’s the world’s first plug-in hybrid fitted with a diesel engine. At the time, it is our technically most advanced model ever – electric, hybrid, and a muscle car all at once. And it’s truly something of an engineering wonder. Depending on the driving mode, it can go as far as 50 kilometres on electric power, has a total range of up to 1,000 kilometres, and with a combined power of 215+70 horsepower, it accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.2 seconds.

2013. For the second time in history, we launch a completely self-built diesel engine family: Volvo Engine Architecture (VEA). The combination of higher injection pressure and the unique i-ART technology is considered revolutionary in the diesel industry. Our customers can enjoy better fuel economy, lower emissions and high output – and with a distinct, roaring sound as a bonus. The new engines are used in a variety of models and become a success in the XC90 generation 2. They live on until the end, powering the very last diesel-powered V60 and XC90 we build.

2023. We move away from combustion engines by selling our stake in Aurobay, the combustion engine joint venture company we have together with Geely Holding

Dernière modification le jeudi, 28 mars 2024 10:20

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