Volkswagen – the company that fired a discussion about the emissions of combustion-powered vehicles on a global scale with the Dieselgate scandal – wants to speed up its electrification strategy. The Wolfsburg-based automaker has a new plan, under which it will start producing only electric vehicles in Europe from 2033. The information was confirmed by Volkswagen’s boss Thomas Schaefer who also said that this is an earlier date compared to the previously announced 2035 target.
Supporting that updated push is a new production strategy described by Schaefer as “platform thinking.” Under this new philosophy, Volkswagen will try to benefit from economies of scale by producing different vehicles sharing the same architecture and same basic design instead of assembling a single model per factory. This strategy doesn’t only include the core VW brand but also other mainstream marques under the Volkswagen Group’s umbrella. "We have historically a lot of waste in the system we can take out," the top brass in Wolfsburg acknowledged.
In the future, VW Group will reduce the number of models from its different brands aiming to achieve higher profit margins for VW, SEAT, Skoda, and the commercial vehicle division. That doesn’t mean the product portfolio won’t be refreshed with new products and the first to arrive will be a facelifted version of the ID.3 with a hot dual-motor version. This won’t be just a minor refresh as the update will bring "a significant and noticeable leap forward in terms of quality, materials, and system stability," addressing the software issues Volkswagen has had in recent months.
A new entry-level electric vehicle is also under development in two versions – a hatchback and a crossover – expected to carry the ID.1 and ID.2 monikers. The very base variant of that vehicle will have a starting price of around $25,000 in Europe, while a crossover version of the ID.3 will be positioned slightly above the ID.2. In total, Volkswagen will launch no fewer than 10 new battery-powered models by 2026. The company's R performance division will go electric-only by the end of the decade.