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Beginning of the end for diesel at Volvo

Bad oil: Volvo’s new V60 wagon will become the last new model from the Swedish company to offer diesel, with the related S60 sedan not offered with an oil-burning powertrain.

S60 to become first Volvo model to dump diesel as switch to electricity accelerates

Volvo logo17 May 2018

VOLVO Cars has confirmed it is pulling out of the diesel business, starting with the upcoming all-new S60 medium sedan that will only be built with petrol, hybrid and plug-in hybrid engines.
 
It also has re-confirmed that it will also phase out all internal combustion engines over time as it transitions to full electric cars.
 
The Chinese-owned, Swedish-based car company aims to have 50 per cent of its global sales fitted with some form of electrification by 2025.
 
The announcement was made by Volvo Cars president and chief executive Hakan Samuelsson who said: “Our future is electric and we will no longer develop a new generation of diesel engines.
 
“We will phase out cars with only an internal combustion engine, with petrol hybrid versions as a transitional option as we move towards full electrification. The new S60 represents the next step in that commitment.”
 
The S60 – which is yet to be confirmed for Australia – will be built for global consumption in Volvo’s new plant in the United States, starting in the third quarter of this year.
 
While the S60 becomes the first Volvo model to dispense with diesel in years, the closely related V60 wagon – unveiled at the Geneva motor show in March – will offer a pair of diesel engines, thus having the distinction of being the last Volvo car to be manufactured with oil-burning powerplants.
 
The V60 is under active consideration for Australia, with Volvo Car Australia managing director Nick Connor telling GoAuto recently that although the company had been reviewing its participation in the shrinking mid-sized car market, it was not about to walk away from models that had served it well in the past.
 
In Europe, the V60 will be offered with a choice of two petrol engines, T5 and T6, and two petrol-electric plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrains, as well as two choices of diesel.
 
The S60 will get these petrol and PHEV powertrains, along with a petrol-electric mild hybrid drivetrain from next year. 
 
The new-generation S60 has not been ruled out for Australia, but is still subject to a local review on its market potential.
 
The Volvo move to electrification reflects the company’s Chinese ownership. Parent company Geely is forging ahead with electric vehicles in its domestic market where the central government has ruled that at least 10 per cent of all vehicles sold in the world’s largest motor market must be “new-energy vehicles” (NEVs) – primarily electric and PHEV – by 2019, rising to 12 per cent by 2020.
 
Manufacturers that don’t comply will face fines.
 
Last month, sales of NEV vehicles in China reportedly doubled, to 82,000 units in an overall market of 1.9 million vehicles, up 11 per cent on the same month last year.
 
Meanwhile, reports in the United Kingdom suggest the British government is planning to prohibit vehicles that cannot travel for at least 50 miles (80km) on battery power from 2040.
 
This will mean that mild hybrid cars such as the Toyota Prius will be banned, and only PHEV, full-electric or hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles will be allowed.
 
However, the government says it has yet to arrive at that decision.

 


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