VW commits to launching at least 1 EV every year
More EVs are coming
VW's Chief Operative Officer Ralf Brandstätter said the company has revised its electrification plans with an ambitious goal to ramp up production in the next 10 years. The brand had initially promised that 3 out of 10 cars would be electric by the end of the decade, but they're now pledging that more than 70% of all new cars sold in Europe will be fully electric by 2030. However, Mr Brandstätter has also confirmed that ICEs will continue to play an important role for VW, especially for the Golf and the Tiguan.
Similar goals have been set for China and the US as the company plans to make sure 1 in 2 cars sold in those markets will be electric in the same time period. "The automotive industry is changing fast," said Brandstätter. "We will fundamentally change Volkswagen in the coming years. We intend to defend our market leadership on a clear position: Volkswagen will be the most attractive brand for sustainable mobility".
In order to meet these targets, VW wants to introduce at least one new electric model every year for the next ten years, including three new EVs in 2021: the four-wheel-drive ID 4 GTX and a coupe-styled ID 5 SUV will be revealed later this year, followed by ID 6 SUV, which is only going to be available in China.
The funky-looking ID Buzz (above), first unveiled in 2017, will finally hit the market in 2022, followed by the Aero B Estate / ID Vizzion Concept (production name to be confirmed) and in 2025, two years later than expected, we'll also get to see the small ID 1 along with the Project Trinity EV in 2026.
Brandstätter is well aware that one of the reasons (probably *the* main reason) why companies still need ICEs is that the take-up ratio of EVs varies enormously in different regions worldwide, and sometimes even in different countries within the same region/market. As things stand, Mr Brandstätter says the next-generation versions of the Golf, Tiguan, Passat and T-Roc are certainly going to be available as ICEs or hybrids, while the Touran and the Arteon are unlikely to be replaced.
Furthermore, Brandstätter believes that apart from EVs, digitalisation is going to be a big thing in the coming years. "The car is now a software-driven product, like an internet device", he said. "Cars will become more intelligent and safer. Electrification was just the beginning, the real disruption is coming".
That is the reason why VW plans to invest £13b in the next five years in digital systems and self-driving technology as he believes that “autonomous driving will be available to many people by 2030. This technology must not become the privilege of the few. With six million units per year, our brand has the volume to scale up this dfifficult-to-engineer technology and roll it out worldwide".
The Trinity Project Concept is going to offer level two-plus autonomy - which basically means it comes with glorified ADAS - but they plan to update it to level four, which means it can effectively drive itself in certain scenario, by 2030.