Clarification given after surprising comments made last week.
German marque Volkswagen has clarified that it’ll be making internal combustion engines as far along as 2040 or further in fact, after comments made by their strategy boss last week sent observers into a flurry after it was said that 2026 would be the “last product” featuring a combustion engine.
I mean we knew that the sun was setting on ICEs, but we didn’t realise it was going to be that soon.
Since then, VW’s board member for technical development has clarified that the comments made last week were not entirely accurate, and reflected only a partial truth.
“We are not stopping production of combustion engines in 2026. What Mr. Jost (head of strategy) was saying (about the end of ICEs) was a focus on the Paris [Climate Change] Agreement and the start of developing this combustion-engined platform. There was also a European focus in his comments. There will still be regions, Africa for example, where we are selling optimised combustion-engined vehicle for many years after .” — Dr. Frank Welsch, Management Boardmember (Technical Development), Volkswagen
This echoes our concerns when the comments were initially made, as we’re aware that there are plenty of parts of the world where infrastructure simply is not ready nor capable to accommodate the loading that comes with the widespread adoption of electric vehicles. Furthermore, there are various applications where electric mobility is not yet ready to replace the combustion engine, like for long-range logistics and so on. Of course Dr. Welsch addressed this, in comments made to AutoExpress:
“We are still committed to developing a wide range of power sources for our vehicles - petrol, diesel, CNG, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and pure-electric. Even if we know there is a plan for 25% of our cars to be EV in the future, that still leaves 75% of customer demand! There will be many different solutions, and they will vary depending on region.” — Dr. Frank Welsch, Management Boardmember (Technical Development), Volkswagen
The clarification by Dr. Welsch almost confirm that Volkswagen will begin work on a new ICE-accommodating platform in the middle of the next decade, which we’ll expect to see utilised in a production car until about 2030. Furthermore, given that a typical product cycle lasts about 7-years, it then gives us the idea that internal-combustion VWs should continue to feature in showrooms until at least 2037, if not further still.