Volvo rolls out its last car with a diesel engine 

Last-ever diesel-engined XC90 rolls off production line destined for new museum as Volvo transitions into an all-electric brand. Volvo's 45-year relationship with diesel engines comes to an end and makes it  the first major ‘legacy’ manufacturer to entirely ditch the fuel type.

By Jonathan Bryce, Autocar UK calendar 28 Mar 2024 Views icon3933 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
The last Volvo diesel, an XC90, is bound for the brand's new heritage museum.

The last Volvo diesel, an XC90, is bound for the brand's new heritage museum.

Volvo has produced its last ever diesel-engined car, accelerating its drive to become an electric-only brand by 2030.

As confirmed by the brand, the last diesel rolled off the brand's production line at its Torslanda plant in Sweden on 26 March. 

This brings an end to Volvo's 45-year relationship with diesel engines and makes it the first major ‘legacy’ manufacturer to entirely ditch the fuel type.  The endling is a blue Volvo XC90 equipped with a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-pot. The SUV will be displayed at the new World of Volvo museum, due to open to the public on 14 April.

As recently as 2019, the majority of Volvo cars sold in Europe were powered by diesel. Back in 2008, 95% of XC90 sales were diesel.

Volvo said: "For a long time, our diesel engines were synonymous with reliability and efficiency, and they meant a great deal to us for many decades. Indeed, the success of our diesel cars played a significant role in our evolution into a premium brand.

"Only five years ago, the diesel engine was our bread and butter in Europe, just like it was for most other car makers. The majority of the cars we sold in Europe in 2019 ran on diesel, while electric models were just starting to gain traction.

"The all-electric direction we’re now heading towards is the right one to take, and we do so with our flag held high."

Volvo will shift to electric-only car production by 2030, with factories being refitted to accommodate the production of EVs and battery drivetrains. 

It confirmed that it would end diesel powertrain production by 2024 in a statement at last year's Climate Week event in New York.

Boss Jim Rowan previously said that “electric powertrains are our future”, claiming that Volvo is “fully focused on creating a broad portfolio of premium, fully electric cars that deliver on everything our customers expect from a Volvo”.

After years of continual decline, diesel sales in the UK have recently been on the uptick. A 12% rise was reported by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) last December.

Premium brands account for 40% of diesel sales in Europe, marking a 10% increase over their 2015 share.

The best-selling diesel in the UK in 2023 was by far the Land Rover Defender - a key rival to the XC90.

Volvo recently launched the EX30 electric crossover and will soon launch the EX90 electric SUV as part of its EV switch, which is itself part of a wider goal of becoming a climate-neutral company by 2040. 

Tags: Volvo Cars
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