Despite the diesel scandal that has engulfed Volkswagen, the fuel is still going strong in Europe. But that could be changing with stricter emission standards coming and regulators starting to keep a keen eye on automakers. Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson believes with these changes, many automakers will switch from diesel to hybrid vehicles.
“It is a very attractive alternative to a diesel engine. It offers much lower CO2 levels but more or less the same performance in both horsepower and torque. On cost, I would say that within a couple of years we will see a crossover, the diesel getting more expensive and the [hybrid system] going down,” said Samuelsson.
“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 has one hybrid system in the form of the T8 Twin-Engine found in the 90 Series (S90, V90, and XC90), and recently introduced the T5 Twin-Engine that will be used in the upcoming 40 Series. While fuel economy and emission figures still need to be worked on the T5, Car and Driver were told the T5 Twin-Engine would achieve fuel economy figures similar to a comparable diesel and 95 g/km of CO2.
But that doesn't mean Volvo will not be building diesel vehicles in the near future.
“I think that it’s very realistic that the percentage will go down. If it will go down to zero, I think we don’t need to speculate—let the future decide, let customers decide. We are flexible enough that we can make petrol and diesels on the same line, basically,” said Samuelsson.
Source: Car and Driver