According to Volvo Cars CEO Hakan Samuelsson, “Improving the efficiency of the combustion engine is more or less done ”. As emission regulations become more stringent in the West, Samuelsson said that there is no way diesel engines will remain competitive when it comes to lowering carbon and NOX emissions.
Instead, the CEO said the future is in hybrid and pure electrification of vehicles.
“Looking further down the line, diesel will not be able to help us. Only electrification can. The combustion engine will more and more be combined with hybridization, whether that be diesel or petrol. The next step has to be hybridization and pure-electric cars,” said Samuesson.
Volvo is currently making platforms for EVs (Electric Vehicles) and have developed some of their current models to accommodate plug-in hybrid tech.
With the technology entering the mainstream market, particularly in the West, Samuelsson believes that developing pure electrification vehicles will be less expensive in the long run, thanks to the trickle-down effect. Volvo aims to release their first all-electric car by 2019 with a goal of one million EVs sold by 2025.
As for their approach to plug-in hybrids, Samuelsson says they will rely on the twin-engine set-up, as seen in the XC90 T8 PHEV, S90 T8 PHEV and V90 T8 PHEV. Volvo's twin-engine configuration uses a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder that powers the front wheels and a powerful electric motor to drive the rear. The CEO adds that the sharing of these components will also drive down cost, as well as complexity.