Volvo Cars' commitment to a long-term future beyond the traditional combustion engine is already known.
He did admit that a major advantage of diesel was long-range driving and low fuel consumption, but countered that the same benefits could now be achieved by the new generation of 48-volt mild-hybrids, which use electric starter-generator motors to help power the car's engine for short bursts, but come without the weight and complication of more conventional hybrids.
It follows the automaker's announcement last July that every vehicle it launches from 2019 will feature some form of electrification, whether it be mild hybrid, plug-in hybrid or pure electric power. Even the XC40 and the recently launched V60 estate have D3 and D4 variants in their respective line-ups.
Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars, 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". Every new model it introduces will be either fully electric, a plug-in hybrid, or a mild hybrid.
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As mentioned above, the new S60 will be the first new Volvo without a diesel option. The announcement was made at the 2018 Beijing Auto Show, the world's leading market for electrified cars.
The new S60 saloon - to be launched later this spring - will be the first Volvo to be produced without a diesel engine.
Although diesels now emit more Carbon dioxide per kilometer than their petrol counterparts, Samuelson said hybridisation will help match figures achieved by diesels. While Toyota Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. earlier chose to phase out diesel choices altogether amid declining demand, diesel sales made up 70 percent for Volvo in Europe past year.
The new car's global production base will be in Charleston, South Carolina. Specific options for the United States will be announced at a later date.