2026 will be the final year the group begins the development of a combustion platform (which will remain until around 2040).
“It’s a complete transformation and the biggest ever investment in the VW Group,” Sten Forsberg, head of VW Cars in Sweden said.
The move originates from the management’s decision to take seriously the group’s responsibility for the share of global CO2 emissions from its cars.
“We’re taking the baton and dealing with the situation. Electric cars will go from being a niche product to a volume product,” added Mr. Forsberg.
The VW Group – which includes Audi, Skoda, Porsche and others – has assessed all kinds of drivelines and concluded that pure electric cars are the way forward.
During a transition period, chargeable hybrids will be available, and in the long run so will certain fuel-cell cars for long-haul transport, but the goal of a total shift is clear.
Many electric models are already seeing the light of day. First out is the ID family including the ID.3 and ID.Buzz, a throwback to the classic VW Camper.
Several of Volkswagen Group’s factories are already switching over to exclusive production of green electric cars. The first one is Zwickau in Germany, where the ID.3 goes into production in November, followed by Emden, Hannover and Dresden.
“In addition, we have also promised that our entire production chain for the ID concept will be completely CO2 neutral. So that includes subcontractors, raw material extraction, the use of electricity and everything else,” explained Mr. Forsberg.
Volkswagen says battery production is a principal issue – only green electricity can be used to produce the battery cells, which is a very energy-intensive process.
What will the shift mean for subcontractors?
“Obviously, such a shift in the automotive sector will mean that new expertise is needed, but generally speaking I think it will entail new business opportunities for many subcontractors, not just in the automotive sector but in all parts of society,” Mr. Forsberg concluded.