There’s no doubt that Volkswagen’s image is horribly tarnished following the infamous Dieselgate emissions scandal, which continues to affect the company today. That said, the outlook for future diesel passenger cars from the People’s Car doesn’t look too positive and to compensate, Volkswagen’s shifting its focus heavily towards production electric vehicles. One of these electric vehicle ideas was just recently confirmed to be showing up at Paris this year in concept form.
WirstshaftWoche, a German magazine, spoke to Volkswagen’s current chairman, CEO Matthias Müller, according to a report by AutoCar in the UK. Müller confirmed that Volkswagen will be showcasing its latest attempt to produce a new electric car for the masses, one that will be as iconic as the Golf.
The goal is to have this new EV feature a driving range of 500 kilometers, or 310 miles, while only taking 15 minutes to charge. To top it all off, one of the project stipulations is that it cost less than a traditional gas-powered car. Our best guess is that Volkswagen is trying to make an EV that’s just as popular but cheaper than a Polo, Golf, or Beetle.
These sound like pretty high-strung feats. But then again, this is coming from the company known to set oddly high engineering standards–something entirely reminiscent of the legacy of Ferdinand Piech. Projects with high standards of recent past from Volkswagen AG include the Bugatti Veyron and the Volkswagen Phaeton luxury sedan. But like the Veyron and the Phaeton, Volkswagen wants this new EV to “make a statement.”
Originally, Müller announced this plan to create a new electric car at the Geneva Motor Show this past year. Subsequent reports suggested a launch date of 2019. Müller himself however only officially confirmed a target of 2025. The first hint of the project was revealed by AutoCar earlier this year after speaking to Volkswagen’s brand manager, Herbert Diess. Nonetheless, both Deiss and “We are using the current crisis to fundamentally realign the group,” he said. “I feel we now have the chance to build a new and better Volkswagen.”provide proof that an EV for the people is to be one of the next biggest things from Volkswagen.
“It will make a huge statement,” a senior engineer in Volkswagen’s R&D department said on a separate occasion, supporting the prospects. “It’s planned to use cutting-edge technology but at a price that makes it attainable for the average motorist.”
Volkswagen first began to tease the idea physically with the Budd-e MPV Concept from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this year. The Budd-e is Volkswagen’s way of showcasing the company’s new MEB modular architecture, specifically designed to build electric cars. Ultimately, Müller previously told us to expect at least 20 electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles in Volkswagen Group’s range by 2020. The Budd-e also happens to be one of those intended production EVs.
“We are using the current crisis to fundamentally realign the group,” he commented. “I feel we now have the chance to build a new and better Volkswagen.”
– By: Chris Chin