Volvo Cars will end production of its diesel-powered models by early 2024, and sell only fully electric cars from 2030, on its way to becoming a climate neutral company by 2040. 

The milestone decision on ending diesel production follows its withdrawal from the development of new combustion engines last year. In November 2022 it sold its stake in Aurobay, the joint venture company that managed all of its remaining combustion engine assets. 

“Electric powertrains are our future, and superior to combustion engines: they generate less noise, less vibration, less servicing costs for our customers and zero tail-pipe 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.”

The company believes electrification is the right thing to do: ”What the world needs now, at this critical time for our planet and humanity, is leadership,” said Rowan. “It is high time for industry and political leaders to be strong and decisive, and deliver meaningful policies and actions to fight climate change. We’re committed to doing our part and encourage our peers as well as political leaders around the globe to do theirs.”

Volvo Cars says its decision to completely phase out diesels by early 2024 illustrates how rapidly both the car industry and customer demand are changing in the face of the climate crisis. 

A spokesman for the company said: ”Only four years ago, the diesel engine was our bread and butter in Europe, as was the case for most other car makers. The majority of cars we sold on the continent in 2019 were powered by a diesel engine, while electrified models were only just beginning to make their mark.

”That trend has largely inverted itself since then, driven by changing market demand, tighter emission regulations as well as our focus on electrification. The majority of our sales in Europe now consists of electrified cars, with either a fully electric or plug-in hybrid powertrain.

”Less diesel cars on the streets also has a positive effect on urban air quality; while diesels emit less CO2 than petrol engines, they emit more gases such as nitrogen oxide (NOx) that have an adverse effect on air quality especially in built-up areas.”