In an extended interview with Automotive News Europe, Volkswagen brand boss Thomas Schäfer touched on different topics, mostly about EVs. He reiterated the production ID.2all will cost less than €25,000 (£22,000) and will be followed by a sub-€20,000 (£18,000) EV in 2026-2027 at the latest. Meanwhile, the e-up! will be discontinued in mid-2024 since keeping it on sale would require a new electronic architecture to meet stringent regulations related to cybersecurity.
The former Skoda CEO also had something to say about e-fuels, and his statement was rather surprising. When asked by ANE about the decision to exempt cars with combustion engines running on efuels from the 2035 sales ban, Thomas Schäfer said all the debate surrounding efuels is just "unnecessary noise" since the ICE age will be "over anyway" by the middle of the next decade.
He went on to mention the Volkswagen core brand projects EVs will account for 80 percent of annual sales by 2030. The Wolfsburg-based marque has already announced plans to become a purely electric automaker in Europe by 2033. During the same interview, the head honcho rhetorically asked: "Why spend a fortune on old technology [ICE running on efuel] that doesn't really give you any benefit?"
In an interview with German publication Automobilwoche published at the beginning of the month, the same Thomas Schäfer announced the next-generation Passat and Tiguan – both due later this year – along with the T-Roc in 2025 will be VW's last new-gen cars in Europe. Consequently, there will be no ninth-generation Golf with a combustion engine.
Porsche and the VW main brand see things differently when it comes to efuel as the former recently started production of synthetic fuel at its plant in Chile. In the pilot phase, the plan is to make approximately 130,000 litres (34,342 gallons) of eFuel per year and ramp up annual production to 550 million (145 million gallons) litres by the middle of the decade. As a reminder, Porsche's carbon-neutral fuel is made from water and carbon dioxide using wind energy.
For the sake of clarity, we should point out Thomas Schäfer was referring strictly to the company he is running – the Volkswagen main brand. Although it's part of the same automotive conglomerate, Porsche has a different agenda and is trying to save the internal combustion engine by offering a zero-emission ICE alternative to battery-powered EVs.