The current range of internal combustion engine cars being developed by Volkswagen AG brands will be the last ever, VW chief strategist Michael Jost said this week.
With an electrification strategy firmly in place for the group’s stable of auto brands, VW is now ready to embrace the end of ICE age and is planning the last rollout of ICE platform cars in eight year’s time.
The car maker, which works in seven-year development cycles, says its next cycle will begin in 2025 and will include electric vehicles only.
“Our colleagues are working on the last platform for vehicles that aren’t CO2 neutral,” Jost said at an industry conference near the company’s HQ in Wolfsburg, Germany on Tuesday.
“We’re gradually fading out combustion engines to the absolute minimum.”
While it doesn’t mean production of ICE cars will come to an abrupt stop, it does indicate that the European auto brand intends in the future to sell only electric vehicles.
It’s a significant but not unexpected announcement from the German company, which has been at the centre of the Dieselgate scandal since 2015, when it was issued a violation notice by the US environmental protection agency which alleged that emissions controls for its diesel engines had been intentionally deactivated.
Since then, the auto giant has committed €44 billion to the development of next-generation zero-emissions mobility, saying that the group as a whole has plans to put 50 all-electric models on the road by 2025.
Three of its German factories will be upgraded and batteries have been sourced from China and South Korea as part of the plan.
VW chief Herbert Diess has said that the upgrades and plans will allow the Wolfsburg group to build 15 million EVs, “that can do anything like Tesla and are cheaper by half.”
The upcoming VW all-electric I.D. series will first include a “Neo” electric hatchback, as well as the I.D. Buzz (the new electric “Kombi”). It may also include an electric crossover SUV. The I.D. Crozz, which first appeared at last year’s LA Auto Show will be the first to go on sale in the US from 2020.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.