Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson believes diesel engines will be progressively replaced by hybrids over the next ten years or so.
Despite the ongoing emissions debacle all over Europe and United States, diesels are still going strong, especially on the old continent. However, the man in charge at Volvo believes the situation will change in the years to come, as diesels will become more and more expensive and will require additional after-treatment to make it cleaner. Interestingly, Samuelsson predicts additional fluids will have to be filled at every refuel, so it’s going to be quite a hassle for the owner.
That’s why the top brass at Volvo believes demand for diesel-powered cars will go down and consequently sales of hybrids will increase. Speaking to journalists in Gothenburg, Samuelsson said Volvo will have just the right tool to serve as a diesel replacement, the all-new T5 Twin Engine. It’s a turbocharged 1.5-liter, three-cylinder gasoline engine working together with an electric motor.
The combustion engine is going to deliver somewhere in the region of 180 horsepower (134 kilowatts) whereas the electric motor will have 74 hp (55 kW) for a combined output of 250 hp (186 kW). Volvo estimates the 9.7 kWh battery pack will have enough juice to last for an all-electric range of 31 miles (50 kilometers).
Volvo will offer the T5 Twin Engine setup initially on its forthcoming next-gen 40-series models, but Samuelsson said the larger 60-series cars will likely get it as well. He went on to specify the new hardware will be a “very attractive alternative to a diesel engine” by generating fewer CO2 emissions while offering roughly the same horsepower and torque.
In addition, Volvo’s CEO said the T5 Twin Engine will be able to deliver similar fuel economy in the real world and according to Car & Driver the hybrid setup will emit less than 95 g/km in the European test cycle.
With so many benefits brought by the T5 Twin Engine, it’s not hard to imagine that Volvo will likely phase out its diesels in the years to come. That makes sense if we also take into account Samuelsson estimates manufacturing costs for the hybrid hardware will go down whereas those of a diesel engine will increase in a couple of years.
Source: Car & Driver