Autos

VW: No end of combustion engines yet – but wireless updates, more electric cars and “disruption”

Several established car manufacturers including Ford and General Motors have announced fixed target dates for the exit from the sale of combustion models in the past few weeks, but Volkswagen in Germany still does not want to commit itself. The company wants to accelerate its “global e-offensive again”, as it announced in a strategy update on Friday. Nevertheless, all core models should have conventional successors “once again”. And overall, according to CEO Ralf Brandstätter, VW sees a “real disruption” coming, in which electric cars were only the beginning.

Start wireless updates like with Tesla

“The really big disruption is still ahead of us,” Brandstätter wrote in a LinkedIn post about the new brand strategy. It consists in making the integration of software in the vehicle and the digital customer experience into new core competencies of the automaker. Volkswagen will therefore change so much in the coming years as never before. The model for this is obviously Tesla.

VW had already announced a small step into the desired future as a digital provider two days earlier and has now mentioned it again: Newly produced electric cars of the types ID.3 and ID.4 can now, as Tesla has shown, via radio new software. This announced “over the air” capability was initially missing from the ID.3 when it was launched last September – those who already have it have to have the OTA version 2.1 of the ID software installed in the workshop. From summer there will be updates for everyone every three months.

In this way, the car becomes a software-based product, writes VW, which in turn is the prerequisite for data-based business models. Elsewhere, the company shows how far it still sees itself: for 2026 it has now announced the Trinity electric car, which will contain everything “that Volkswagen has planned for the future”. These include a new electronics platform with “state-of-the-art software”, a simplification of the hardware offering and intelligent production in Wolfsburg.

VW wants 70% electric cars in Europe in 2030

According to Brandstätter, VW already sees itself “on the right path to becoming world market leader” with electric cars. To support this, Volkswagen wants to bring out at least one new all-electric model every year. By 2030, the proportion of electric cars in European sales should now reach 70 percent instead of the previous 35 percent; For the USA and China, VW is taking 50 percent purely electric cars.

The already well-known ID.4 GTX will be named as the first new E-VW in the first half of this year, and the “sporty” ID.5 will come in the second half of the year. For the time being only in China, the ID.6 X, an SUV electric car with seven seats, is also planned for autumn. VW has now also confirmed an electric car below the ID.3: The plans for this would be brought forward by two years to 2025. Previously, prices of 20,000-25,000 euros had been mentioned, a region that, according to CEO Elon Musk, Tesla is also offering a new one Electric car may initially aim from China for 2023.

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