In Wake Of Dieselgate Scandal, Volkswagen Announces Strong Commitment To Plug-In Electric Cars

OCT 13 2015 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 75

Volkswagen Golf GTE Sport Concept

Volkswagen Golf GTE Sport Concept

Volkswagen Sport Coupé Concept GTE

Volkswagen Sport Coupé Concept GTE

As we predicted, Volkswagen has announced a major shift towards electrification in the wake of the Dieselgate scandal.

There are several strategies laid out today by Volkswagen board of management. Among those strategies, we see an intense future focus on electrification.

Perhaps most importantly, Volkswagen will push electrification across its MQB (basis for current VW Golf and Audi A3) platform:

Systematic further development of the Modular Transverse Toolkit (MQB)

There will be a major development thrust for the proven MQB standardized technical toolkit, where Volkswagen Passenger Cars holds responsibility for development within the Group network. The focus is on plug-in hybrids with an even greater range, high-volume electric vehicles with a radius of up to 300 kilometers, a 48-volt power supply system (mild hybrid) as well as ever more efficient diesel, petrol and CNG concepts.

Volkswagen CrossBlue Concept

Volkswagen CrossBlue Concept

The MQB platform could underpin more than a dozen models in the future, many of which will be electrified.

Volkswagen adds:

MEB electric toolkit

An MEB electric toolkit for future use in compact segment vehicles is to be developed based on the experience gained with existing vehicle architectures. This will be a multi-brand toolkit suitable for both passenger cars and light commercial vehicles and will thus leverage synergies from other electric vehicle projects in the Group. The standardized system will be designed for all body structures and vehicle types, thus allowing particularly emotional vehicle concepts, and will enable an all-electric range of 250 to 500 kilometers.

Of course, there’s the flagship electric Phaeton announcement that we covered earlier too.

So, it seems the diesel scandal will kick Volkswagen into gear in a way that enhances the plug-in electric car market and we’re thrilled by this outcome.

Press release below:

Volkswagen Brand Board of Management takes strategic decisions
• Accelerated implementation of the efficiency program creates room for
reorientation
• Streamlined processes leverage further cost-saving potential, including
cuts in fixed costs
• Investments to be reduced by 1 billion euros per year compared with
planning – combined with prioritization of projects for the future
• Product decisions formulated
• New Phaeton will be electric
• New Modular Electric Toolkit planned

The newly-formed Volkswagen Brand Board of Management took further strategic decisions at a special meeting. CEO Dr. Herbert Diess announced major product decisions: a reorientation of the diesel strategy with the most advanced technologies, the development of a standardized electric architecture for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles, and a new approach for the next generation of the Phaeton. Investments are to be reduced by some one billion euros per year, the efficiency program is to be accelerated.

Dr. Herbert Diess underscored: “The Volkswagen brand is repositioning itself for the future. We are becoming more efficient, we are giving our product range and our core technologies a new focus, and we are creating room for forward-looking technologies by speeding up the efficiency program.”

Reorientation of the diesel strategy

It was decided to switch over to installing only diesel drives with SCR and AdBlue technology in Europe and North America as soon as possible. Diesel vehicles will only be equipped with exhaust emissions systems that use the best environmental technology.

Systematic further development of the Modular Transverse Toolkit (MQB)

There will be a major development thrust for the proven MQB standardized technical toolkit, where Volkswagen Passenger Cars holds responsibility for development within the Group network. The focus is on plug-in hybrids with an even greater range, high-volume electric vehicles with a radius of up to 300 kilometers, a 48-volt power supply system (mild hybrid) as well as ever more efficient diesel, petrol and CNG concepts.

A new standard with regard to connectivity and driver assistance systems is to be defined.

MEB electric toolkit

An MEB electric toolkit for future use in compact segment vehicles is to be developed based on the experience gained with existing vehicle architectures. This will be a multi-brand toolkit suitable for both passenger cars and light commercial vehicles and will thus leverage synergies from other electric vehicle projects in the Group. The standardized system will be designed for all body structures and vehicle types, thus allowing particularly emotional vehicle concepts, and will enable an all-electric range of 250 to 500 kilometers.
Phaeton redefined – the future is electric

The Volkswagen Phaeton has embodied the brand’s technological competence and brand ambition from the first generation onward. The future generation of the Phaeton will once again be the flagship for the brand’s profile over the next decade. In light of this, the Board of Management redefined the current project. The specification features a pure electric drive with long-distance capability, connectivity and next-generation assistance systems as well as an emotional design.
Accelerated efficiency program

Dr. Herbert Diess said: “We are very aware that we can only implement these innovations for the future of the Volkswagen brand effectively if we succeed with our efficiency program and in giving our product range a new focus.”

Diess continued: “Together with my Board of Management colleagues and the entire team we are working at top speed on these issues. Time and again, the Volkswagen team has proved it stands united and is fully focused on shaping the future, particularly when times are tough. We have now laid the further foundations for that.”

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75 Comments on "In Wake Of Dieselgate Scandal, Volkswagen Announces Strong Commitment To Plug-In Electric Cars"

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Great news

I’m not sure I understand that word salad, but how quickly can they get to market an eGolf with a range rivalling Gen2 Leaf and Bolt? How quickly can they get a Golf GTE with a range rivalling Gen2 Volt? And when will we see a pure-electric light van from VW?

That’s what I – and EV enthusiasts – should care about. The tech is already there, VW has gotten a head start on it, and it doesn’t seem to be super-hard or super-pricey by now.

How quickly can they deliver in underserved EV markets like Chicago.

the chicago area is one of the stronger areas for Volt sales.

@Assaf
“I’m not sure I understand that word salad”

That makes 2 of us.

Hallelujah!

This may be the best news ever announced at InsideEVs.

I CALL BS

GO VLKAY, go!

Oops! Sorry, for a moment I started talking like some other commenters on this forum 🙂

At least now they seem more motivated toward ev’s than they have been. We will find out shortly if they really move toward electrification or not.

Meanwhile, jack didley is coming from Ford about its future EV plans…..what are they thinking over there.

Or Fiat/Chrysler. I guess we did learn they are going to work on a PHEV minivan. It is about time!

Yeah, I saw this coming. Of course, everyone that follows the green car market did. Plugs are the only logical way to provide cars that will meet the upcoming regulations.

And I think it would be great if Germany keeps generating more & more of its own electricity from domestic energy and moves their petrol/diesel cars to electricity. Take that, Putin.

The MEB sounds interesting. Will it be a skateboard design? The current MQB is too limiting – the eGolf has no room for any more batteries in that setup. Maybe the MEB will enable their answer to the Leaf 2.0 / Bolt / Model III.

VW has lost credibility. I would take anything they say with a grain of salt. Still if, as they claim, they have seen the light and focus on the ev revolution which they can now only participate in, and not lead, then more power too them.
My inner curmudgeon says that they are now just saying what people, governments, want to hear.
When they say we are abandoning diesel as a failed technology for passenger cars, and actually do that, then that would really be something to crow about.

Exactly, what is the EV range of the Cross Blue SUV? 12 miles? What a joke.

Yes could say VW has missed the mini-bus, with their belated adoption of the ev religion.
A jailhouse conversion.

Yes.

“Show, don’t tell.”

Like GM promised in 2009 14 models of Plug-ins for 2012…
http://wot.motortrend.com/gm-promises-14-hybrids-by-2012-we-id-the-potential-lineup-4659.html

I will believe it when I see it.
Already : “up to 300 km” on the European testing scale is not really a commitment, no competition there, only keeping up with others.
But the more the merrier!

Let’s see what the word “massive” means to them.

That articles explains about 14 hybrids, not plugins as you stated.

Still managed to get your usual GM hating in a VW article.

Sorry, my mistake, and your’s… it was about Hybrids AND BEVS.

It’s not about hate. It’s about the perfect example of dishonest promises like this one can be after a scandal of large proportions.

Ah yes, clean diesel:
Here is my favorite video on how to keep your VW diesel running clean:

Gotta be something wrong with an engine design that carbons up so badly that it takes oven cleaner and/or a burnout to fix it…or, where the cure is almost as bad for pollution, health and safety as the diesel itself.

VW can’t start too early to switch over to EVs.

I actually owned a Rabbit diesel once. Worst car I ever owned. Mechanics hated it, and so did I.

Love the part at 6:40 where the guy melts his shoe. Would have been a little smarter to do this on gravel as opposed to blasting burning embers all over the concrete? Just a thought…
Thought for video #2….cover the garage floor in gasoline and light it to remove the carbon that melted onto the concrete?

Well, in all seriousness, probably not a bad way to remove carbon…just with a few other precautions needed.

Oh yes, very clean. I’ll bet it smells good too.

CherylG'sDirtyLittleSecret

They need to test all the other cars (Diesel and Gas) the same way they tested VW products, out of test mode.

Already hearing about significant testing failures of other diesel and gas cars, using “real world” emissions testing. Names will be named, this time– the media smells blood in the water.

This is probably one of the biggest iceberg events that could force many automakers to move to full electrification.

This needs to be carefully managed though. If they ALL start failing the new standards then they’ll cry about the standards being ‘impossible to meet’ and demand they be scaled back.

That is what I fear also.

Well. If standards can not be met, car oems will need to install even more hw, rise price tags more, less people will buy them.

Less emissions will be saved as older cars will be longer on roads…

Not saying that cheap disels should be thus allowed. USA clearly show that gas cars can fill segments where disel is uneconomical.

No. I’m saying that it’s in best interest of everyone to have affordable cars with better emissions then cars already on the roads… Instead of uneconomical and or cheating ones.

Best improvement comes after all from replacing the oldest cars, owned by price sensitive owners.

Also it’s more important to have real world tests.

Right now passing or not passing of standards says nothing actually about possibilities of technology today.. At least in EU. How then we can be sure that standards are both strict and affordable?

Could have, should have, would have…

Dieselgate is estimated to cost Volkswagen $20B+ excluding cost of recovering their brand reputation.

Imagine if Volkswagen could go back in time and had not implemented the “cheat device” and instead had proactively invested those Dieselgate dollars in electrification R&D and production roll-out.

But better late (and costly) than never…

Maybe the Phaeton comes real fast, but what VWG desperately needs, right now, is a stake in the ground beyond the e-golf.

Start selling the 17.3kwh Audi Q7 state-side. Boost its battery, for next year. Up storage in the 10kwh PHEVs, or drop them from the U.S. market.

This is a good thing. More choices are better for us and consumers.

It is finally time for someone to produce something that would challenge LEAF/Volt/Telsa.

More choices will lead to more sales. Without choices, EV will never take over.

Start selling a Q5 plug in already! It’s not that complicated, a CUV with the follow will sell like hotcakes.

– 30 miles min. Electric range
– Regular gas
– 7.2 charger
– ability to fully recharge battery 100% on ICE
– decent app to set charging, etc
– Five ‘real’ seats

I’m on my 2nd Volt and wish GM would step up and offer something like I listed above. CUV’s are the fastest growing market –

I do not understand the need for recharging the battery 100% on ICE. While I suppose it is a neat feature that might get used on rare occasion, I can’t see how it would be a dealbreaker for anyone.

using the ICE to recharge the battery is very wasteful. then again, i suspect that there are a lot of people who comment on EVs who don’t care about energy efficiency.

I agree. I don’t understand the desire / use case for this. The whole point of plugging in is to use electricity from the grid instead of just pouring more gasoline into the tank. If you are going to charge the battery from the gas engine, what’s the difference between that car and a traditional hybrid? Albeit a hybrid with a very large battery.

THe reason? They’re just getting ready for when city centers DISALLOW any ICE operation at any time. THis feature allows the owner to have a fully charged battery at the entrance to the city center, without getting stranded.

the scenario that you describe is the reason why HOLD mode was developed. so if you are planning to go into the city centre, you would use HOLD mode because recharging the battery with the ICE is very inefficient.

Thanks, Bill. That’s the most logical reason I’ve heard for such a feature. Even HOLD mode wouldn’t necessarily be enough, if you are traveling from city A to city B. If you deplete your charge in city A, how do you get into city B without charging along the way?

Sure Brian..

Of course, it goes without saying that if companies like VW hadn’t polluted large cities like Paris and London with their “Clean (!) Diesel” Particulate Spewing junk cars that are making little children ill (the situation apparently got so bad that it became obvious who was causing the problem), then there wouldn’t be the necessity to come up with Draconian plans to BAN all gasoline (Petrol) cars, along with all the CLean Diesels everywhere in congested areas, since it was mostly not their fault.

Unfortunately there is little evidence that such a vehicle would “sell like hotcakes”. That’s why there are so few.

Haven’t you heard about the outlander PHEV? That’s just a lower spec version of what he wants. If the price is right phev SUV’s will sell very well.

Even down here in Australia, the land of no incentives, they sold reasonably well.

Cumulative world-wide sales of the Outlander PHEV have been about 50,000 since 2013. The Toyota RAV4, for example, sells this many in 1 or 2 months …

Unfortunately, “selling like hotcakes” in EV terms is a rather low bar compared to “selling like hotcakes” in gasmobile terms.

Hopefully that will start changing within a few years.

I do wish journalists would stop adding the suffix “gate” to every scandal, real or imagined.

Hear hear! It’s obnoxious. And most readers today weren’t even alive for the Watergate scandal.

Nixon spied on the democrats. Bush spied on
the whole country, then the whole world. At least that’s the running joke.

Seriously, I realize there is much more to it than that. But I think there is still a significant period of time that must still elapse before people see what really occurred, and is occuring..

Re: “take that, Putin”, I’m taking THAT out of context, but I find it VERY INTERESTING that Sergei Lavrov made an off hand remark (something the Russians NEVER do) to one of our diplomats: ‘Incidentally, your New World Order, is over’. hehe.

Speaking of which, Putin told a ‘funny’ the other day:

“Negotiation with President Obama is rather like playing Chess with a Pigeon:

He first knocks over the pieces, then poops on the chessboard, and struts around saying that he has won.” Hehehe.

Meh. It is tradition now.

Can i please have a Beetle convertible EV like the bugster concept so we can get rid of my wife’s 2010 convertible that only gets 20mpg in the city. She likes my electric cars but wont buy one until its “cute” like a beetle.

Her opinion about Tesla X?

😉

She has driven both the roadster and the Model S. She liked both but would prefer a Roadster as the Model S was way too big for us (no kids). And if the model X is even bigger than the S then its really too big. And the Falcon doors would be wasted on us, unless we could drive from the back seat! Her Beetle Converitble has never had anyone in the back seat and neither has my Leaf. We both really miss the 2 seater Mini E. Im hoping for a new Roadster with Supercharger capability, but she will absolutely love a EV Beetle Convertible (she drives 18 miles a day total) and everything is either on the way home or way to work. Any other trip gets taken in the Leaf. In our house, gas cars are for short trips and all longer trips happen in the Leaf or imiev. We’re definately not the typical Tesla X buyers as we have no kids and dont need to transport a whole soccer team. Eveyone is always yelling bigger car bigger car! And we’re yelling smaller, smaller, 2 seats and convertible! The hitch on the X is nice but ive… Read more »

I feel your pain Ken, my wife drives the Prius under protest, wants another “cute” Beetle like the 2001 she had that got 20mpg and was always broken.

Well, Volkswagen would have to electrify eventually. Why not a fossil fuel-related scandal to goose it along?

A company like Volkswagen could produce some really amazing electrics, and the public would mostly forget about the diesel scandal.

Smoke and mirrors

They still need to make a profit so this is only a feelgood message.

i’m probably a bit more skeptical a reader than most on this forum because i read this release as follows (in order of priority):

1)reduce investments (presumably for new products) by 1 billions euros;
2)”clean up” the diesel product line;
3)introduce PHEVs;
4)introduce a BEV version of the Phaeton.

Exactly. The announcement simply stated what they have been doing, only reworded in a different way. The rewording is designed to lead the reader into thinking this is something new. The only new thing might be “diesel drives with SCR and AdBlue technology in Europe and North America ”
Unfortunately, I read this as VW is happy to continue poisoning the rest of the planet but will clean up their diesel engines in the USA and Europe to avoid penalties.

I think what they are really saying is that, while they have to cut the R&D budget quite drastically to cope with the fallout of the scandal, they are not cutting back on their PHEV/EV program. Sounds like good news to me. And they have a strong motivation to prove their “greenness” now, which can only help electification.

I hope so, too. Sure, there is good reason to be skeptical, especially after VW out-and-out lied about its “clean diesel” cars, not only to customers but to government regulators.

But I choose to be optimistic. Eventually, the big legacy auto makers will get serious about making plug-in EVs. Eventually they’ll have to, or go bankrupt. Perhaps it’s still too soon, too early in the EV revolution, to believe that VW is the first to get serious about selling PEVs. But altho I am often cynical about the willingness of legacy auto makers to make real changes, in this case I choose to be optimistic. What VW is doing is going to be closely scrutinized in the near future, and I doubt they’ll try to lie to everyone at the very time when they know everyone will be watching them closely.

And if I’m disappointed… well, it won’t be the first time, nor the last.

“Scratch any cynic and you will find a disappointed idealist.” — George Carlin

What about an electric VW Passat, that would be a shake for the Saoudis.

VW/Audi/Porsche certainly does lead all car makers in sheer number of endless electric Concept cars…..

Yup. Concept car after Concept car.

Coming from VW…I call BS.

the current CEO is sneaky in delaying the diesel scandal announcement. Same mentality as the old, telling everybody what they want to hear. Also mentioned new diesel engines. Old CEO announced his responsibility and quit, then retracted a few days later after EPA wanted to press charges. Then said no management was involved in the scandal, BS. It takes a year to map and engine, everybody in management would know it was not doing well. BS on EVs fro VW. Same company same lies.

VW would have done ok with a Beetle EV.
the golf was the easy choice, but boring.
I just cant imagine being able to shift a whole company towards electrification when there are many within who think EV’s are a waste of time. Its not easy to change corporate culture.

Corporate culture will change if their paycheck, bonuses, and pensions depend on it.

I thought the “New Beetle” was basically a cosmetically dolled-up Golf anyway.

So shouldn’t they be able to immediately electrify it? Certainly they should be able to shoehorn it in there.

I’m waiting for an EV Karman-Ghia. 40 hp would be fine for me. Just put a decent battery in it so I can go someplace.

Among the thing I previously posted on things VW should do, are actually BUY competition’s EV’s and PHEV’s / EREV’s to trade for some if their ‘Diesel Scammed’ customers, Get some if these cars converted to EV’s in the aftermarket world, and all $100,000+ earners take a hit to $1 a year if they were involved in ignoring the information, pushing these offending products out to market, anyway! At least until all 11 Million of them out there are dealt with!

If they could get in good with Tesla and Elon, both for some RAV4 EV like help, as well as getting into the Supercharger network for their EV’s if not their PHEV’s as well, they might be able to show some serious contrition, in that they recognize the Leader, and want to catch up with them, but lead other OEM’s!

It would seem that they have a very short window of opportunity now to show they are really serious!

Four weeks ago, long before this scandal, this site had an article on VW plans for more electric vehicles:

http://insideevs.com/volkswagen-group-announces-goal-of-20-additional-plug-in-electric-cars-by-2020/

This looks to me like they want to claim they are taking decisive action based on the scandal while actually carrying on with existing plans.

Anyone remember the commitment American car makers made after they messed up in 2008?
http://www.caranddriver.com/news/dodge-jeep-and-chrysler-electric-vehicle-concepts-video

Now, maybe a Golf GTE for the USA will be a possible announcement before the 2017 Volt begins delivery (spring 2016). But it has to have 50 mile ev range.

Golf GTE will NOT have a 50 mile range without a massive redesign – certainly not before next spring. The best you could reasonably hope for is a 30 mile range with the latest battery technology.

We have to see the investments and target dates – otherwise it is just green-washing.

Otherwise – this is what they actually work on – “as well as ever more efficient diesel, petrol and CNG concepts.”