The End of the Line for Internal Combustion Volkswagens?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
the end of the line for internal combustion volkswagens

Certain green-tinged websites would sure want you to believe it. At the Handelsblatt automotive summit in Volkswagen’s home base of Wolfsburg, Germany this week, VW strategy chief Michael Jost etched a tombstone for the internal combustion engine.

But is the coming decade really the last one to feature VWs with exhaust pipes?

Nope, but that’s when the *end* of the beginning of the end arrives.

The automaker sure talks a great game when it comes to electric vehicles (VW Group targets 3 million EV sales per year by 2025), and has set aside billions for the development and assembly of electric vehicles across the globe. The first I.D.-badged vehicles should begin rolling out of factories at the dawn of the new decade.

Still, look around and what do you see? Tiguans and Atlases. Jettas and Golfs. Can VW persuade the roadgoing public to shun ICEs for battery packs and charging cords? The company’s banking on it. Jost told the crowd his company was working on “the last platform for vehicles that aren’t CO2 neutral.”

This platform will start underpinning vehicles in 2026, he said.

“We’re gradually fading out combustion engines to the absolute minimum,” he added. This platform will carry VW vehicles and those of other VW Group brands into the 2030s, presumably as EV sales gather in the background. It’s possible that, at that point, gasoline-powered vehicles could be relegated to a niche market in ICE-unfriendly Europe and other regions. Not in North America, though.

As EV market share grows, more and more vehicles are coming outfitted with standard mild hybrid systems, while the plug-in hybrid market is also on the upswing. Slowly, pure ICE vehicles will be bled out of automaker lineups, including VW’s.

So, exactly when does Jost envision the last VW vehicle with an internal combustion engine to roll out of the factory? There’s an answer for that: 2040.

[Source: The Local] [Image: Volkswagen]

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  • Jatz Jatz on Dec 05, 2018

    It'd be cool to have a car that _couldn't_ mess up your garage floor but I don't want to have to learn all that Reddy Kilowatt jargon.

  • 65corvair 65corvair on Dec 05, 2018

    I heard lithium is in short supply now and there are no untapped reserves. Your employer isn't going to wire your parking lot with outlets and give you free electricity either. Most of our electricity comes from fossil fuels so what's the advantage?

    • See 2 previous
    • HotPotato HotPotato on Dec 08, 2018

      There's plenty of lithium in the world. Free charging at work is an employee perk like free coffee at work, but you can charge just fine at home, just like you can make coffee just fine at home. What's the advantage if the power company burns fossil fuel anyway? The advantage is that EVs are much more efficient than gasoline cars. So you burn considerably less fossil fuel for the same number of miles traveled. Also, an electric car gets cleaner over time as the grid does: coal is steadily being replaced by cleaner natural gas and cleaner-still renewables.

  • Jeff S If AM went away I would listen to FM but since it is insignificant in the cost to the car and in an emergency broadcast it is good to have. I agree with some of the others its another way to collect money with a subscription. AM is most likely to go away in the future but I will use AM as long as its around.
  • BEPLA I think it's cool the way it is.If I had the money, time and space - I'd buy it, clean it up, and just do enough to get it running properly.Then take it to Cars and Coffee and park it next to all the newer Mustangs.
  • Dave M. I suppose Jethro’s farm report comes via AM, but there’s a ton of alternative ways to get that info. Move forward people. Progress is never easy.
  • BEPLA For anything but the base model, I'd rather have a pre-owned Polestar 2.
  • BEPLA "Quality is Job........well, it's someone's job, but it's not our job.Neither is building vehicles that people actually want or need.We only build what's most profitable. If only someone would buy our 97 day supply of SuperDutys."