Sales of Volkswagen’s famous models that run on conventional gasoline technology like the Polo, Golf and Passat would not continue in the future in places that only allow electric cars. Volkswagen is not looking to strap electric motors and batteries to make them comply with government regulations and would instead sell equivalent vehicles from the ID family.
Talking to Auto Express, Jürgen Stackmannn, Member of the Board of Management Volkswagen Passenger Cars for Sales, Marketing and After Sales, has said that models like the Golf will not be selling alongside ID range of electric cars in the electric-only future. This means in places like the United Kingdom, where the ICE cars are banned possibly from 2030, models like Golf and Polo will not be made to comply. However in countries which are behind the curve in the adoption of electric cars, they would run parallel.
Volkswagen’s fully-electric Golf, the e-Golf originally was to be discontinued once the ID.3 starts reaching the market widely. However that was before the COVID-19 situation and now reports suggest VW will continue to sell the e-Golf through 2020 as the demand for the car is still present and Volkswagen has faced short delays in the launch of the ID.3. The e-Golf has a 35.8 kWh battery pack and offers a range of 231 km (WLTP). Like the original Golf, though the e-Golf is great to drive, the driving range is not very competitive. The Golf-sized ID.3, however, offers a driving range of up to 320 km in the lowest spec and goes up to 550 km with the largest battery pack on offer.
While the long-term future does look uncertain for combustion-engine models like the Polo and Golf that have dominated the sales tables in Europe for decades, their story is not coming to an abrupt end. Mr Stackmann has confirmed a ninth-generation Golf will be launched before the switch to full-electric models happen around the world. The eighth-generation Golf, which is scheduled to be launched this year in the UK, will be available with five engines – two petrol engines, two diesel engines and one mild-hybrid powertrain. There’s also a GTE plug-in hybrid version that has a TSI four-cylinder engine and an electric motor for a combined output of 245 PS (180 kW) and 400 Nm of torque. The GTE Golf has an all-electric range of 60 km and can be driven up to 130 km/h in this mode. From media reports we surmise that the next-gen VW Passat would be a pure-electric or a hybrid depending on the market.
Volkswagen is ramping-up efforts to be the world’s largest producer of electric vehicles. The target is to manufacture 1.5 million electric vehicles a year by 2025, and the models include the VW ID.3, VW ID.4, VW ID.5 (or the ID.4 GTX), VW ID.6 and VW MEB Entry models which are the VW ID.1 and ID.2.