Volkswagen is to launch its final generation of combustion engines in 2026 as it looks to ditch petrol and diesel development.
Michael Jost, strategy chief at VW, told an automotive summit conference in Wolfsburg, Germany: “In the year 2026 will be the last product start on a combustion engine platform.”
A spokesman for VW confirmed that Jost’s remarks meant that Volkswagen would focus on electric cars.
The last newly-developed petrol and diesel engines will be made available on the mk9 Golf, which will be due for launch around 2026.
VW is expected to continue to adapt its petrol and diesel engined cars to meet environmental standards during the lifetime of those vehicles.
VW Group impact
It’s been speculated that the confirmation is likely to impact all brands that sit within VW Group ownership including Audi, Seat and Skoda as well as the luxury arm of the motor giant, which includes Bentley, Lamborghini and Porsche.
Volkswagen has already said it will offer more than 50 electric cars by 2025 as part of ambitions plans outlined in the Strategy 2025 proposal.
The German manufacturer has also confirmed that it will streamline its Volkswagen model range and increase vehicle costs to improve profitability.
Streamlined model range
A quarter of its engine and gearbox variants in Europe are to be axed to focus efforts on the high-demand combinations of drivetrains and trim, to simplify production.
Greenpeace UK senior campaigner Rosie Rogers said: “VW has just become the first major car maker to admit that the end of the combustion engine is in sight.
“They’re only words for now, but it’s a bit like Saudi Arabia predicting the end of the oil age.
“Just over a year ago, the car giant’s leadership was talking up diesel’s ‘great future’ – now they say the end of the road for both diesel and petrol is just over the horizon.”
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