Even if diesel-powered cars are still appreciated around the world, especially in Europe, hybrids will soon take the lead, Volvo’s CEO says.
The dieselgate scandal triggered by Volkswagen has dented to some extend the buyers’ perception over the diesel technology, but not decisive enough to hurt sales. Even if the trend is going downwards, diesel-powered vehicles are still accounting for around 50 percent of the new cars European market. However, in the coming years, the emissions standards around the world are set to be increasingly tougher to hit and automakers will have to speed up their development efforts – and expenses accordingly – towards cleaner technologies that will eventually make diesel not such a desirable alternative – especially cost wise.
And that will be the right moment for hybrids to step up. “Diesels will be more expensive, they will have much more advanced after-treatment with additional fluids that have to be filled not once a year, but probably every time you refuel the car,” Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson said, quoted by Car and Driver. “I think that it’s very realistic that the percentage will go down.”
This is why the Swedish premium brand is betting on small and efficient hybrid set-ups, namely on the new three-cylinder T5 Twin Engine plug-in, which blends a turbocharged 1.5-litre petrol unit with an electric motor, set to make its debut on the upcoming 40-series model. “On cost, I would say that within a couple of years we will see a crossover, the diesel getting more expensive and the hybrid going down.” Volvo said the first new 40-series car was expected to go into production in 2017 and, on the long-term, it plans to have sold a total of up to 1 million electrified cars by 2025 globally.
Via Car and Driver