The trend of automakers delivering devastating news to combustion-engine fans continues. Volkswagen, following the lead laid by Audi, has told Automobilwoche that it has no plans to develop new combustion engines. Instead, VW CEO Ralf Brandstaetter said that the company would focus on updating its existing powertrain lineup to meet the tightening Euro 7 emissions regulations as it shifts toward electric vehicle production.
It’s the beginning of the end of the combustion engine, but it won’t disappear overnight. VW announced earlier this month that while it plans to double its 2030 EV sales target in Europe, it also plans to continue selling a core stable of petrol-powered products – the Golf, the Passat, the T-Roc, and the Tiguan. VW said that these models would get a next-generation version, though they’ll be built to be as efficient as possible, which means they’ll come with the latest plug-in hybrid technology that offers all-electric motoring.
Gallery: 2021 Volkswagen ID.4: First Drive
Brandstaetter told the publication that it would use the profits of its combustion-powered cars to finance its push into electric vehicle production. The company has ambitious sales goals it wants to meet by 2030, aiming for 70 percent of its sales in Europe and more than 50 percent of its sales in China and the US to be EVs.
VW’s announcement comes days after Audi boss Markus Duesmann announced a similar plan for its combustion engines, with the company also forgoing new powertrain development. VW Group last year promoted Audi to lead the conglomerate’s R&D efforts.
The combustion engine is running on borrowed time:
VW hasn’t been the only automaker to announce it’ll phase out gas-powered cars. Volvo has said it’ll stop producing ICE-powered cars by 2030, with GM setting a 2035 transition date from gas to electric. Ford announced it’d only sell EVs in Europe by 2030, too. However, not every automaker is rushing to electrify. Porsche, a VW Group member, will hold out electrifying the 911 before 2030, but what comes after that is anyone’s guess.