Volvo to axe diesel globally next year, already dead in Australia

The final diesel Volvo car will be produced in the coming months as it focuses on electric power. But it won’t be for an Australian customer, as diesel was killed here in 2021.

Swedish luxury-car giant Volvo has announced its final new car with a diesel engine will roll off the production line by early next year – two and a half years after it called time on the fuel type in Australia.

The majority of Volvo cars sold in Europe in 2019 had a diesel engine, the company says; in 2022 diesel was just 8.9 per cent of the mix, according to Reuters.

Volvo will now sell a mix of mild-hybrid petrol, plug-in hybrid petrol and solely electric cars in the coming years before it goes electric-only globally in 2030 – or in Australia in 2026.

Diesel vehicle sales have been in steady decline in Europe for close to a decade in the wake of the 2015 Volkswagen ‘Dieselgate’ emissions cheating scandal, stricter emissions regulations, and the growth of electric and petrol-hybrid cars.

In 2015 close to 50 per cent of new cars sold in Europe were diesels. Earlier this year electric-car sales overtook diesel in Europe for the first time, the latter now accounting for about 13 per cent of the mix.

Volvo Car Australia discontinued diesel power from its line-up in mid 2021, for Model Year 2022 – alongside the introduction of new mild-hybrid petrol engines – after trimming the diesel line-up a year prior.

Investment into new Volvo diesel car engines ended in 2018 with the introduction of the latest S60 sedan.

Volvo says it stopped investing in new petrol engines last year, when it sold its stake in a sister company that managed Volvo engine development.

The Chinese-owned Swedish car-maker is doubling down on electric power, which accounted for 49 per cent of its deliveries in Australia last month (due in part to an arrival of stock), 26 per cent in Europe, and 13 per cent globally.

While not as popular in Australia, plug-in hybrids remain big business for Volvo in Europe, accounting for 37 per cent of sales last month – or 20 per cent globally.

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