Volvo has built its last diesel car

After 44 years, Volvo has officially built its last ever diesel car.

The Swedish brand announced last September that it was ending production of diesel cars for good, and in February, its last diesel-powered car was made, a Volvo V60. The last XC90 diesel car also recently roll off the production line.

These events mark a huge milestone in Volvo’s 97-year history, with the brand aiming to become a fully electric car maker, as well as achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.

Here are some key milestones in Volvo’s diesel history:

Neither Sweden nor Europe is a diesel market. Those who buy diesel cars tend to be taxi drivers or long-haul travellers. But people have slowly begun to see the benefits of the more efficient diesel engines and demand is on the rise. So, Volvo listens to its customers and introduce its first-ever diesel car: the Volvo 244 GL D6. The engine is powerful, very efficient and the world’s first six-cylinder diesel engine for passenger cars.

The diesel car scene gains momentum. When Volvo launches the V70, it’s also finally time for the company to introduce its first self-built diesel engine. This five-cylinder engine, manufactured at the Volvo powertrain plant in Skövde, Sweden, is to become a huge success and will power many Volvo cars across Europe. It’s made in several different versions and is so powerful that it’s even being used on the racetrack in a car called the S60 Challenge.

This year saw the launch of the Drive-E lineup – featuring small yet highly efficient 1.6-litre diesel engines. Drivers could go 1,300km on a single tank, and CO2 emission levels are so low that they get classified as ‘green engines’ in Sweden. The Drive-E engines are flexibly built and work well in different Volvo models.

Volvo launches the V60 D6 plug-in hybrid, which is a unique car: it’s the world’s first plug-in hybrid fitted with a diesel engine. At the time, it is Volvo’s most technically advanced model ever – electric, hybrid and a muscle car all at once. Depending on the driving mode, it can go as far as 50 kilometres on electric power, has a total range of up to 1,000 kilometres, and with 215 horsepower from the diesel engine and 70 horsepower from the electric motor, it accelerates from 0 to 100km/h in 6.2 seconds.

For the second time in history, Volvo’s launches a completely self-built diesel engine family: Volvo Engine Architecture (VEA). The combination of higher injection pressure and the unique i-ART technology is considered revolutionary in the diesel industry. Volvo customers enjoyed better fuel economy, lower emissions and high output. The new engines are used in a variety of models and become a success in the second-generation XC90. They live on until the end, powering the very last diesel-powered V60 and XC90 built by Volvo.

Volvo moves away from combustion engines by selling its stake in Aurobay, the combustion engine joint venture company it had together with Geely Holding.