VW Outlines Plans for Green Engines, Autonomous Cars
CEO Matthias Muller commits to big changes for the company
After dieselgate broke, Volkswagen said that electric vehicles would help it weather the scandal. Now the automaker has outlined a multi-billion dollar plan of action called "Strategy 2025," which calls for cleaner gas engines, third-party emissions tests, and an "electrification initiative second to none in the industry."
VW will equip new TSI and TFSI engines with gasoline particulate filters starting in June 2017. The initiative goes into effect on the new VW Tiguan and Audi A5 and will reduce particulate emissions by up to 90 percent. By 2022, up to 7 million VW vehicles could have the technology.
Another big part of VW's greener future is electrification. The automaker confirmed it will launch more than 30 battery electric cars by 2025. By then, VW should sell about 2 to 3 million pure EVs annually, representing about 25 percent of the company's total sales volume. When announcing "Strategy 2025" in Hanover, Germany, VW CEO Matthias Müller said the company's EV plan is a "multi-billion euro investment program" and will accompany the automaker's work on fuel cells.
VW has already started its work on electrification. The next e-Golf should see a 30-percent range bump here, while the Budd-E concept shown earlier this year demonstrates technology VW is committed to bringing to future production cars. Müller says by 2030, electrically powered cars will account for a third of new vehicle market volume.
Meanwhile, VW wants to merge EV technology with autonomous private and freight vehicles. "Fully autonomous vehicles with a self-driving system developed in-house will enter the market by the beginning of the next decade. Cumulative investment in new autonomous mobility solutions will amount to several billion euros," Müller noted.
The automaker also recently announced its partnership with ridesharing company Gett as part of its strategy that will involve autonomous cars for hire. "In the years ahead, we will group other services such as robotaxis, car sharing or on-demand transport in quick succession around this core [ride sharing] service," Müller said. Its aim is to achieve sales revenue in the multi-billion euro range from this strategy.
Müller continues to emphasize 2016 is a year of transformation for the company. To help prevent another diesel scandal, independent third parties will conduct VW's emissions tests. Real-world testing will also be a key part of the plan.