When Volkswagen first introduced its plan to completely revamp its lineup with fully hybrid and electric vehicles, the company had hoped to add 75 electric models to its portfolio of models by 2029. The bulk of these would have been crafted on the all new MEB platform, with the resulting surge in offerings greatly increasing Volkswagen’s compliance with tightening emissions standards. But many electric upstarts have emerged since then, and the unwelcome emergence of COVID-19 also had a role in completely altering the automotive landscape. But that does not mean VW is down and out in its plans for electrification.
During a recent interview with Autoblog Thomas Ulbrich VW’s board member for electric mobility laid out a tentative map for what is next in Volkswagen’s electrification journey. Ulbrich actually called out Rivian by name, and revealed that the company’s attempts at developing and creating an all electric pickup actually caught VW’s interest. “Step by step our investigation and research makes us think it becomes more possible,” he told the publication.” The most immediate candidate for an all electric truck would be the Amarok, but thanks to a recently inked partnership with Ford, the Amarok’s future is dependent on what Ford intends to do with the next generation Ranger.
The two firms inked the deal back in 2019, with a provision stating that Ford would supply VW with a truck that would be made into the second generation Amarok. While there hasn’t been any evidence that suggests Ford is making an all electric Ranger, there is reason to assume that a plug in hybrid could be in the cards. This would sync with some details of the plan, which calls for VW to offer 60 hybrid models alongside its fully electric ones. As a bonus, it would also add some weight to a rumor that the company would launch a model below the ID.3 (tentatively called ID.1) in 2025, with the concept version being revealed sometime in 2023.
With the world still reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic, it will be interesting to see where VW’s plan goes from here, and whether the company can indeed hit its targets for both hybrid and electric vehicles.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.