Volkswagen may have become associated with soot and scandal in these last few years, but now the carmaker is leading the charge to clean up and electrify the world’s motors.
The company recently announced that the next generation of combustion engines it produces will be its last, with a phase out of its gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles across Volkswagen AG’s entire lineup beginning in 2026.
The news is particularly big coming from the world’s largest automaker. VW currently controls a stable of 12 automotive brands, including an impressive array of luxury names like Audi, Porsche, Bentley, Bugatti, and Lamborghini.
Its Porsche division will be one of the first to roll out the electric platform of the future with its 2019 Taycan offering. But all told, the corporation plans to have fully- or partially-electric models available across its entire roster of more than 300 cars, trucks, vans, and motorbikes by 2030.
While the move may be monumental, it’s not surprising. Last year, the company announced it was mulling as much as an $82 billion investment in battery-powered technology. Just last month, VW said it plans to spend $50 billion on developing electric and autonomous cars over the next five years. The new budget includes plans to release more than 50 all-electric models by 2025.
Indeed, Volkswagen’s home country of Germany has long had the old-school engine technology in its crosshairs, announcing as far back as 2016 that new combustion engines would no longer be welcome on its roads after 2030. And several other countries, including China and the UK, have announced similar oncoming bans on gas- and diesel-powered motors.
For their part, VW officials have said that the new phase will fade out combustion engines as much as possible, though some may still be made available as far away as 2050 due to the anticipated patchwork development of electric car charging infrastructures.
Still, the company said it was “fully committed” to reducing CO2 emissions in accordance to the Paris Climate Agreement, which highlighted the accelerated introduction of battery-powered vehicles as an important step toward reducing global air pollution levels.