Volkswagen has strengthened their new stand for e-mobility when their chief strategist for the VW brand, Michael Jost, announced the end of all combustion engines for the carmaker. The ICE, no matter if petrol or diesel, will not be developed any longer after 2026.
The news came as a surprise to the crowd gathered at the Handelsblatt Auto Summit on Tuesday. Jost said: “In the year 2016 the last product based on a combustion platform will be started.” He added that the corporation would see its future in the electric drive.
Yet this does not mean that VW will stop building cars with combustion engines that year. The company thinks in seven-year development cycles so when the engineers in Wolfsburg take to the drawing board in 2025, it will be the last time they may include a fossil-fuel powered engine.
This means the last ICEs by Volkswagen will probably be sold around 2030. It is a sort of holding out as long as they can because after that year more and more countries will begin to ban sales of such vehicles anyway. Moreover Jost pointed to the Paris Climate Accord and tightening emission regulations.
Still, the chief strategist’s announcement is a stand for electric mobility. He clearly said that battery-electric vehicles and not hybrids were the way to go for Volkswagen and overall the move is further than other carmakers have been prepared to go as most only agreed to discontinue diesel model for now. He also said, Volkswagen wants to introduce sustainability across the entire life cycle.
This is also in line with their latest strategy. Just two weeks ago Volkswagen announced a 44 billion euro investment in future technologies by 2023 with about 3/4, that is 30 billion euros reserved for e-mobility alone. VW also confirmed that they were checking the possibility of entering mass production of battery cells, with SK Innovation as the potential partner.
handelsblatt.com (in German)