Volvo Cars' Transition to a Fully Electric Future: Ending Diesel Production by Early 2024

Volvo Cars' Transition to a Fully Electric Future: Ending Diesel Production by Early 2024

Volvo Cars, a renowned automobile manufacturer, has embarked on one of the most ambitious transformations in the industry, with a clear roadmap to complete electrification. By 2030, the company plans to exclusively sell electric vehicles (EVs) and aims to become a climate-neutral company by 2040. This strategy represents a significant shift for traditional car manufacturers towards a more sustainable future.

In a strong commitment to this vision, Volvo Cars announced at the Climate Week NYC last year that it would cease the production of all diesel cars by early 2024. In just a few months, the last diesel car from Volvo will roll off the production line, marking the company as the first traditional car manufacturer to take this action. This milestone follows Volvo Cars' decision to stop developing new internal combustion engines. In November 2022, Volvo Cars divested its stake in Aurobay, a joint venture company that held all their internal combustion engine assets, signaling an end to any new investments in internal combustion engines.

Jim Rowan, CEO of Volvo Cars, asserts that electric vehicles are the future, superior to internal combustion engines in many ways. EVs are quieter, have less vibration, lower maintenance costs, and crucially, zero emissions. The company is dedicated to producing a range of high-quality electric vehicles that meet customer expectations and play a vital role in addressing climate change.

The commitment to electrification has been a part of Volvo's ethos since 1972 when, during the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm, the company acknowledged the negative environmental impact of its products and resolved to act. The recent "Global Climate Stocktake" report by the United Nations underscores the urgent need for action in the face of a climate emergency.

Rowan emphasizes the need for leadership at this critical moment for the planet and humanity. Industry and political leaders must be steadfast and decisive, proposing meaningful policies and actions to combat climate change. Volvo Cars is committed to its role and encourages its peers and global political leaders to join in these efforts.

To underscore this point, Anders Kärrberg, the Chief Sustainability Officer, participated in the 2023 Climate Week NYC hosted by the A2Z Alliance. Formed during the "27th United Nations Climate Change Conference" (COP27), the A2Z Alliance aims to provide a platform for stakeholders who are signatories of the "Glasgow Declaration on Zero Emission Vehicles," of which Volvo Cars is a part. The A2Z platform enables Volvo Cars to collaborate with other stakeholders to achieve collective goals, notably achieving 100% zero emissions for all new cars and vans by 2040 and leading the market in achieving this milestone by 2035.

Volvo Cars has set even more ambitious targets for its electrification, hoping to inspire other companies to take bolder actions in addressing the climate crisis. The decision to fully cease diesel production by early 2024 reflects the rapid changes in automotive industry and consumer demands under the climate crisis. Just four years ago, diesel engines were the mainstream for Volvo Cars in Europe, a trend common among most car manufacturers. In 2019, the majority of cars sold in mainland Europe were diesel, with electric vehicles only just beginning to emerge.

However, a significant shift has occurred due to changing market demands, tightening emission regulations, and a growing focus on electrification. Now, the majority of Volvo Cars sold in Europe are electric, including pure electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. The reduction of diesel cars on the roads has also improved urban air quality. Despite diesel engines emitting lower CO2 than gasoline engines, they release more harmful gases like nitrogen oxides (NOx), adversely affecting air quality, particularly in densely populated areas.

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