Swedish carmaker Volvo has announced it will cease producing diesel-powered vehicles by early next year as it transitions towards electric vehicles (EVs).
The announcement makes it one of the first legacy car makers to take this step. It has already announced plans to sell only fully electric cars by 2030 ahead of aims to become carbon neutral by 2040.
Last year, Volvo said it would cease development of new combustion engines in a bid to shift R&D spend towards EVs.
“Electric powertrains are our future and superior to combustion engines: they generate less noise, less vibration, less servicing costs for our customers and zero tailpipe emissions,” said Jim Rowan, chief executive at Volvo Cars.
“We’re fully focused on creating a broad portfolio of premium, fully electric cars that deliver on everything our customers expect from a Volvo – and are a key part of our response to climate change.”
It was recently reported that the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak plans to relax some of the UK’s proposed green measures, including pushing back the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 to 2035.
Other major car manufacturers have already announced their intention to stop selling internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles in the coming decade, with almost all targeting a 2030 date for the move. The EU has agreed to ban the sale of new ICE vehicles from 2035 across all of its member states.
Volvo said it hoped the move would inspire other manufacturers to move up their own electrification targets by a few years.
The decision could also be a financial one, with figures from earlier this week showing that uptake of EVs in the UK has soared since 2022 to account for an expected 18 per cent of new cars sold by the end of this year.
Volvo Car Group recorded an operating profit of around £1.6bn last year, with global sales reaching roughly 615,000 cars.
Last week, the EU launched an investigation into subsidies from the Chinese government that have allowed its domestic manufacturers to flood the European market with cheap EVs.
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