Volkswagen to phase out internal combustion engine vehicles in Europe by 2035


With ICE vehicles on the way out, Volkswagen aims to have electric vehicles account for 70% of its European sales by 2030.

Image: Reuters / Bobby Yip – RC1D9C3882B0

Volkswagen on Sunday announced plans to halt production of internal combustion engine cars in Europe for its eponymous flagship brand between 2033 and 2035, as the German auto giant accelerates its move towards electric vehicles. Automakers around the world have started to set timetables to phase out combustion engines in the face of increasingly stringent emissions standards being put in place to tackle climate change, with Volkswagen’s electric push also following persistent breaches of the engine. the reputation of the “dieselgate” scandal.

Klaus Zellmer, member of the Volkswagen passenger car brand sales and marketing board, told the Bavarian newspaper Münchner Merkur that “we will make our entire fleet CO2 neutral by 2050 at the latest”.

“In Europe, we will be leaving the combustion engine vehicle market between 2033 and 2035,” he said in an interview posted online on Sunday.

Volkswagen to phase out internal combustion engine vehicles in Europe by 2035

Volkswagen is investing 100 million euros to form a joint venture to build batteries with the German firm Customcells. Image: Volkswagen

He added that the change will take place “a little later in the United States and China. In South America and Africa, due to the lack of political framework conditions and infrastructure, it will take a little longer.” .

Volkswagen’s flagship brand had already announced in March that it was aiming for electric vehicles to represent 70% of its European sales by 2030.

Zellmer said that “as a mass market manufacturer, VW has to adapt to different speeds of transformation in different regions”.

“Our competitors who sell vehicles primarily in Europe, for example, will certainly face a much less complex transformation.”

Volkswagen to phase out internal combustion engine vehicles in Europe by 2035

By 2025, Audi will have 20 electric models in its global portfolio. Image: Andreas Lischka via Pixabay

Audi, a subsidiary of Volkswagen, announced last week that it would only launch fully electric vehicles from 2026 and stop manufacturing cars with internal combustion engines by 2033.

Sweden’s Volvo has announced its intention to sell only electric models from 2030.

On July 14, the European Union will unveil more stringent CO2 emissions targets for 2030 and regulatory proposals, which should force automakers to accelerate the transition to electric cars.

Volkswagen’s electric push was further accelerated by its “dieselgate” scandal, which rocked the German auto industry and cost the company dearly in cash and reputational damage.

Legal cases came up against Volkswagen’s admission in 2015 that it had illegally equipped 11 million diesel vehicles around the world with software to make them appear less polluting.

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