Volkswagen Plans Full Electric Overhaul for Transporter Fleet by 2028

Volkswagen Plans Full Electric Overhaul for Transporter Fleet by 2028
(Image: Volkswagen AG)

Volkswagen is gearing up for a major transformation in its transport lineup! They’re set to electrify the entire range of their transport vehicles by 2028. Carsten Intra, the head of VW’s Commercial Vehicles, spilled the beans to the Deutsche Presse-Agentur, revealing that the ball would start rolling in 2028 with the rollout of the Crafter, a sizeable transporter.

But here’s the game plan: they won’t flip the switch all at once. Instead, they’re opting for a gradual shift, introducing the electric models one after the other. Their ultimate aim? To craft an entire electric vehicle family dubbed “Space” – quite the ambitious project!

Until now, VW’s focus on electric mobility in the transport domain revolved mostly around the ID Buzz, which hit the scene in 2022. And here’s the scoop – there are plans for an extended version and a sporty variant of the ID Buzz coming up next year.

This whole electrification spree comes on the heels of some drama with Audi. Originally, Audi had plans to cook up a new electric flagship model in Hannover starting in 2026. But, in a plot twist last September, Audi backed out. So, VW Commercial Vehicles stepped in with their own electric platform, seizing the chance to revamp the entire fleet.

According to Intra, this new platform is a game-changer. Unlike the previous setup, it allows for the birth of an entire vehicle family, unlike the ID Buzz’s platform, which shares tech with the ID.4 electric SUV in the passenger car division.

It’s a big shift in strategy for VW’s commercial wing. They’re shifting gears from heavy manufacturing for other brands to focusing on their own products. Intra sees this as a visionary move, a roadmap for the next 15 to 20 years, and a solid counterweight to losing the Audi deal.

Interestingly, while the passenger car division’s been facing hiccups like production stops and high costs, the commercial vehicle side seems to be cruising along just fine. Intra’s pretty bullish about 2023, foreseeing a potentially record-breaking year in terms of results. They’ve picked up pace after years of struggling with supply shortages.

But, there might be storm clouds on the horizon. Intra’s bracing for a tougher stretch over the next couple of years due to economic conditions. However, here’s the twist – VW Commercial Vehicles aren’t part of the €10 billion cost-saving deal being hashed out in Wolfsburg. That’s solely for the passenger car division.

Their own independent program, Grip, has been making waves since 2021, delivering better-than-expected outcomes. Intra’s not looking to change course or add more measures. They’re sticking to their plan of reducing the workforce naturally from 15,000 to around 10,000 employees by 2029.

As for when they’ll bid adieu to combustion engines entirely? Well, that’s up to their customers. But by 2030, they’re eyeing over 55% of their vehicles to be electric. The full shift to 100% electric? It all boils down to what the market demands.

Oh, and remember that electric camper they teased – the ID California based on the ID Buzz? They’re keeping us on our toes about its launch date. Seems like they’re waiting for the demand to pick up steam, expecting it to hit the roads sometime between 2025 and 2030.

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Ronald Peart
As an AI and machine learning aficionado, Ronald Peart unravels the complexities of artificial intelligence, offering comprehensive insights and updates on the tech landscape.