Do you remember “Electricity First”? Volkswagen steps back from electric cars, looks to plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) for growth

Volkswagen plans to expand its hybrid vehicle lineup in response to consumer trends

    do you remember

  • Volkswagen’s CEO says the brand will increase its investment in hybrid cars to meet consumer tastes.
  • The automaker follows brands such as Mercedes, General Motors and Ford, all of which have committed to introducing more plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) as growth in the EV sector slows.
  • The move is a surprise from the carmaker, which has committed to switching to all-electric vehicles in the wake of the Dieselgate scandal.

In the wake of the TDI emissions scandal, VW handed control of the brand and empire to Herbert Diess, a German executive friend of Elon Musk, who saw electric cars as the future of the industry, and believed that a future without engines could happen. Repairing the German automaker’s tarnished image. But now, Diess has been ruled out, and his replacements are reconsidering the strategy.

Volkswagen recently became the latest automaker to quietly back away from its bold electric vehicle commitments, following Ford, General Motors and Mercedes. The brand now plans to expand its range of hybrid vehicles, as growth in the electric car segment slows.

Read: Mercedes Axes’ big platform for next-generation electric vehicles as buyers cool on EVs

Thomas Schaefer, the new head of the Volkswagen brand, told Bloomberg that customers “want plug-in hybrids now, including in China and the United States.” The automaker also recently backed away from plans to build a €2 billion (about US$2.2 billion at current exchange rates) electric vehicle factory in Germany, and stopped looking for outside investors for its battery company — though it remains committed to building giant factories. . In Spain and Canada.

Despite Diess’s ambitious electrification plans, the carmaker is on track to exceed European emissions targets next year, prompting the new head of the Volkswagen empire, Oliver Blume, to call on the EU to ease regulations.

    do you remember
Oliver Bloom, left, and Herbert Dyess, right. Credit: Volkswagen

This is a surprising turnaround for a brand that has boldly claimed that electric cars have “won the race” in 2021, and which has boasted an early engine advantage. But it can be said that the carmaker took on many more projects under Diess’s leadership.

In addition to creating two new platforms exclusively for electric vehicles and creating a battery subsidiary, the automaker also tried to create software for its vehicles, which created problems for buyers and delayed the launch of new Porsche and Audi EVs.

While the automaker may be reconsidering its bet on all-or-nothing electric vehicles, it hasn’t given up on the technology entirely. Volkswagen is still looking for European partners to create a cheap battery-powered compact car, and is also working with Xpeng to regain market share in China, whose customers have abandoned foreign carmakers in favor of local brands.

    do you remember

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