Car conglomerate Volvo has made a recent statement that they will be the first to give up environmentally unfriendly diesel and petrol cars by 2019. Last year the company sold nearly 50,000 cars in the U.K. alone. Their new range of cars will be powered by battery or be an electric hybrid. They claim the dawn of the “battery powered car has arrived.”
The U.K. has seen a 27.5% increase in sales of “green” cars, while diesel reliant alternatives fell by 10%. Mayor of London, Sadiq Kahn, has said that in the next ten years Londoners could be facing a £24 daily fine for driving their petrol or diesel cars into the city center. In fact, the transport secretary, Chris Grayling, told The Times that, “diesel cars could be on the way out unless motor manufacturers could develop cleaner engines with far lower emissions.”
Volvo has said that it will be launching five new fully electric models between 2019 and 2021. The old range will be reproduced as either “mild hybrids” that will use the car’s kinetic energy to charge the battery, or as a plug-in electric hybrid. By 2025, experts have predicted that half of the new cars in the world will be running on electric energy to various degrees, most will likely be hybrids.
A road expert at PA Consulting has estimated that “other car manufacturers will definitely follow. The cost of producing combustion engines is huge and the question is, are they going to continue selling them in big numbers going forward? Probably not.”
The toxic NOx fumes from diesel cars are a major health concern as they cause a variety of respiratory problems, and the government has been criticised for not clamping down harder on the problem. Earlier this week, a campaign group called Client Earth lost a legal challenge against the government’s air quality plan after a judge had decided it was a premature case that can still be amended after public consultation.
But, with car giant’s like Volvo beginning to make the switch to cleaner, greener energy, things may be looking up.