Too costly to keep up with emissions regulations, oilers won’t be renewed.
As emissions regulations get tighter and tighter, the average consumer usually only thinks as far as how it will affect them, by way of additional taxes or performance. However, automotive manufacturers have to devote large amounts of resources to continually update and develop their engines, often at massive cost, to ensure that their next generation of cars can be driven by more efficient, cleaner engines.
While some companies have resorted to cutting performance on their diesels, fitting particulate filters to their exhausts, or outright lying about their emissions (ahem), resurgent Swedish carmaker Volvo has decided that there might not be a purpose to continuing the development of their range of diesel engines, or so a report by Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung suggests.
Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson said that the cost of reducing emissions of nitrogen oxide, the main offender in diesel emissions, was becoming too costly, and failed to present a strong business case. The company would continue to develop their Drive-E diesel engines for the time being, though Samuelsson reckons that Volvo’s diesels will be phased out by 2023. The best-by date, as it were, is driven predominantly by diesel sales in Europe, which currently accounts for over 50% of all new vehicles sold.
Emissions regulations will see the average carbon dioxide emissions limit for the range of European carmakers drop from 130g/km to 95g/km by 2021. As such, the cost involved to develop diesel engines to hit those standards within the next 4-years is not feasible. As such, the Swedish marque will be focused more toward the electrification of its next-generation models, which should allow its range of petrol engines compete with the diesels in terms of outright economy.
With an all-electric model planed for 2019, it seems that Volvo has set its sights firmly on an electrified future, as is evident today with their T8 TwinEngine plug-in hybrid powertrains, presently seen in their Series-90 models, as well as the new XC60 SUV. There are also plans to introduce a T5 TwinEngine drivetrain, with a similar plug-in hybrid setup, which will drive smaller models (like Series-60 and Series-40 cars) in the future.