Certain green-tinged websites would sure want you to believe it. At the Handelsblatt automotive summit in Volkswagen’s home base of Wolfsburg, Germany this week, VW strategy chief Michael Jost etched a tombstone for the internal combustion engine.
But is the coming decade really the last one to feature VWs with exhaust pipes?
Nope, but that’s when the *end* of the beginning of the end arrives.
The automaker sure talks a great game when it comes to electric vehicles (VW Group targets 3 million EV sales per year by 2025), and has set aside billions for the development and assembly of electric vehicles across the globe. The first I.D.-badged vehicles should begin rolling out of factories at the dawn of the new decade.
Still, look around and what do you see? Tiguans and Atlases. Jettas and Golfs. Can VW persuade the roadgoing public to shun ICEs for battery packs and charging cords? The company’s banking on it. Jost told the crowd his company was working on “the last platform for vehicles that aren’t CO2 neutral.”
This platform will start underpinning vehicles in 2026, he said.
“We’re gradually fading out combustion engines to the absolute minimum,” he added. This platform will carry VW vehicles and those of other VW Group brands into the 2030s, presumably as EV sales gather in the background. It’s possible that, at that point, gasoline-powered vehicles could be relegated to a niche market in ICE-unfriendly Europe and other regions. Not in North America, though.
As EV market share grows, more and more vehicles are coming outfitted with standard mild hybrid systems, while the plug-in hybrid market is also on the upswing. Slowly, pure ICE vehicles will be bled out of automaker lineups, including VW’s.
So, exactly when does Jost envision the last VW vehicle with an internal combustion engine to roll out of the factory? There’s an answer for that: 2040.
[Source: The Local] [Image: Volkswagen]