The firm's technical chief says will continue to develop combustion-engined cars - but will focus on EVs in Europe
7 December 2018

Volkswagen's technical boss Frank Welsch says the firm will continue to produce new vehicles powered by internal combustion engines beyond 2026, despite an earlier claim they would be phased out by then.

However, Welsch hinted that the firm would focus purely on electric cars in Europe past that date.

Speaking at the Handelsblatt automotive summit in Wolfsburg earlier this week, firm's head of strategy Michael Jost said that engineers “are working on the last platform for vehicles that aren’t CO2-neutral”.

“We’re gradually fading out combustion engines to the absolute minimum,” he said. “In the year 2026, the last product based on a combustion platform will be started.”

However Frank Welsch, VW's development chief, has moved to clarify those comments: "It is not correct to say we will stop developing internal combustion engines from 2026.

Welsch added: "What I think has happened is that people were talking about the 2040 date widely talked about for stopping selling ICE cars in Europe and then worked backwards in a logical way. But Europe is not the only market, other regions have their own regulations and requirements, and I can see us developing more and more efficient ICE cars long beyond the quoted 2026 date.”

Asked if development times between engine generations might extend as VW built up its portfolio of electric cars, Welsch added: “I don’t see how that will be possible, because we will be required to improve by legislation and our competitors are not going to stand still.”

While Europe and certain markets such as China are introducing legislation that force development to move towards electric cars, lower-cost petrol and diesel engines are likely to remain in demand in developing countries where the infrastructure doesn't exist for charging electric vehicles.

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Volkswagen has pursued a radical shift to electrification in the last couple of years, as it attempts to enter a new era post-Dieselgate. It's also under the same pressure as the broader car industry to hit tough emissions targets to combat climate change.

Last year, the Volkswagen Group, which also includes Audi, Porsche, Seat and Skoda, said it would invest £30 billion in electrification, autonomy and technology by 2022.

Volkswagen’s ID range of electric vehicles includes the hatchback, Crozz SUV and Buzz Cargo van. All will be built on the Group's new MEB EV platform. The first production ID car, the hatchback, will go on sale in early 2020.

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Comments
17

5 December 2018

Well that'll make the Tesla fanbois gloat won't it?

5 December 2018
concinnity wrote:

Well that'll make the Tesla fanbois gloat won't it?

I'm a Tesla fanboi. Could you elaborate?

5 December 2018

Dont worry, they will gladly keep selling you Hybrids with ICEs in them for a long time.

 

 

5 December 2018

Hey Autocar, nice omission of the Bloomberg article:

 

"VW will continue to modify its combustion engine technology after the new platform is introduced next decade."

 

 

5 December 2018

Don't VAG ever stop putting out press releases about how great their potential EV products will be.  Either put up or shut up

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

FMS

7 December 2018
xxxx wrote:

Don't VAG ever stop putting out press releases about how great their potential EV products will be.  Either put up or shut up

 

NO and why should they or indeed any manufacturer, cease promotion of future plans?. They certainly do NOT have YOU on file as a potential customer.

 

Buy an actual car...PUT UP OR SHUT UP. TwIT, the w is silent, as you should be.

5 December 2018

Those headlines are just wrong. 

 

VW is in no way saying it will not launch cars powered by combustion engines after 2026. 

 

How can a publication that takes itself as seriously as Autocar allow such nonsense to be written?

5 December 2018
eseaton wrote:

Those headlines are just wrong. 

 

VW is in no way saying it will not launch cars powered by combustion engines after 2026. 

 

How can a publication that takes itself as seriously as Autocar allow such nonsense to be written?

 

You should see their twitter post about this article, they write "VW announces it will end development of combustion egnines in 2026" which is the exact opposite of what is said in the Bloomberg article.

 

Talk about doing anything for a click.

5 December 2018

Because they will need to do something about electricity generation and the infrastructure to get that electricity to our homes.

TS7

5 December 2018

...was introduced in 2008, and will likely last (at least) until the new 2026 ICE arrives that means we should be safe until the mid '40s.

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