VW's planned departure from combustion engines becomes clear

Irving Hamilton
December 7, 2018

Volkswagen has confirmed that the German vehicle maker will launch its final generation combustion engines in 2026 as it looks to ditch petrol and diesel development.

"We're gradually fading out combustion engines to the absolute minimum", he said.

This has been announced by VW Strategy Chief Michael Jost during a speech at an Automotive Conference in Wolfsburg, Germany.

He stressed that internal combustion engines will still be around for a long time and that VW will continue to improve the technology.

The VW brand aims to invest more than 11 billion euros in electric vehicles, digitalization, autonomous driving and mobility services by 2023, with the bulk earmarked for electric cars, the company said. Plug-in hybrids run on conventional combustion engine platforms and would seem to be excluded from Volkswagen's engineering vision beyond 2026 - although they will still be built for the duration of that generation, running until the 2030s.

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The gradual exit of combustion engines marks a sea change for Volkswagen, which became the poster child of auto pollution after it admitted to cheating on emissions tests in a scandal involving 11 million vehicles worldwide. "Yes, we have a clear responsibility here", Jost said.

The Volkswagen lineup will include fully or partially electric versions of its entire lineup of over 300 cars, vans and trucks and also its motorcycle range by 2030.

This is part of VW's "pact for the future" objective, which aims to reduce costs by three billion euros by the year 2020.

The brand will axe a quarter of its engine and gearbox variants in Europe, concentrating mainly on the high-demand combinations of drivetrains and trim, to simplify production.

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