Volkswagen has outlined a timeline to eventually phase out the combustion engine in favour of electric propulsion. The planned introduction of next-generation platforms in 2026 will be the last that are designed for combustion engines.
In a report by Bloomberg, Michael Jost, strategy chief at Volkswagen said, “Our colleagues are working on the last platform that aren’t CO2 neutral. We are gradually fading out combustion engines to the absolute minimum.”
The gradual exit of combustion engines symbolizes a significant turnaround for Volkswagen, which became the poster child for car pollution after admitting to cheating on emissions test in a scandal involving 11 million vehicles worldwide.
Traditional automobile manufacturers are under increasing pressure from regulators to reduce CO2 emissions to combat climate change, triggering Volkswagen to pursue a radical change to EVs.
As a first step, Volkswagen showcased the Modular Electric Drive Matrix (MEB) platform that will form the basis of its new range of EV models under the I.D. sub-brand.
By 2025, Volkswagen plans to introduce more than 20 EV models with a sales target of one million EVs per year. This ambitious plan to be the market leader in electric mobility begins with the Golf-sized I.D. in late 2019 followed by the I.D. CROZZ SUV. The I.D. BUZZ spacious MPV, a re-interpretation of the legendary Volkswagen Microbus, is scheduled for sale in 2022.
Jost added that the company will continue to modify its combustion engine technology after the introduction of the new platform. Post-2050, there may still be some petrol and diesel models in regions where there is insufficient charging infrastructure.
World number two, Toyota, also predicts the end of the internal combustion engine by 2050.