VW brand will be electric-only in Europe by 2033

VW brand will be electric-only in Europe by 2033

Automotive News Europe — 2022-10-26

Automotive Industry

Volkswagen brand will only produce full-electric cars in Europe from 2033, its boss Thomas Schaefer said, committing to an earlier date than its previous 2033-2035 target.

The VW brand division also will launch 10 new electric models by 2026, including an entry-level model that the automaker wants to sell for less than €25,000, Schaefer said on Wednesday 26 October.

The entry EV will have two variants -- a hatchback and a crossover, he said. The cars are expected to be badged the ID1 and ID2.

Schaefer also said the automaker will bring forward to next year a facelift of the ID3 compact hatchback, the first of its new generation of full-electric cars.

The model will take "a significant and noticeable leap forward in terms of quality, materials and system stability," he said.

VW is also working intensively on a crossover version of the ID3, Schaefer said.

VW's electrification push got off to a bumpy start with the all-electric ID series that was intended to challenge Tesla. The ID3 only started deliveries on time in 2020 because early buyers agreed to wait months for certain functions to work.

Ongoing software issues with the company’s electric models contributed to VW Group dismissing Herbert Diess as chief executive officer and making Porsche boss Oliver Blume the CEO on 1 September.

VW released a sketch in May for an entry-level electric car with SUV styling cues.

Schaefer said the VW brand will move its production focus from concentrating on a single model per factory to "platform thinking,"using the same basic design for different models to allow economies of scale.

Bringing vehicles from different brands into the same factory saves costs, he said: "We have historically a lot of waste in the system we can take out."

Schaefer said in the coming decade the VW Group volume brands will narrow down the number of models on offer to focus on core models, with the aim of raising the profit margin for all volume brands -- VW, Seat, Skoda, and commercial vehicles -- to 8% by 2025.

"Do less, but better," he said.

Improving and standardizing battery chemistry and format was the key to achieving this goal, as well as producing at scale, Schaefer said. "The only company that can scale on this territory at the moment is us," he said. "The focus is a clear standard across the brands, and full scale."