VW CEO Dismisses E-Fuel, Favors ICE Tech

Porsche: Independent Thinking within VW Group

In a lengthy conversation with Automotive News Europe, Thomas Schäfer, boss of the Volkswagen brand, addressed various points, mainly in reference to electric vehicles. He reaffirmed that the price of the ID.2all will not be over €25,000 and that an EV costing less than €20,000 will certainly be available by 2026-2027 at the latest. Furthermore, he mentioned that due to the demanding regulations concerning cybersecurity, the e-up! must end its sale mid-2024 as a new electronic infrastructure would thus be necessary.

The former Skoda CEO also had something to say about e-fuels, and his statement was quite unexpected. When queried by ANE regarding the exemption of cars with combustion engines running on efuels from the 2035 sales ban, Thomas Schäfer commented that all the discourse concerning efuels is merely “unnecessary noise” as the ICE age will be “over anyway” by the mid-2030s.

The head of Volkswagen, during an interview, asked rhetorically: “Why spend a fortune on old technology [ICE running on efuel] that doesn’t really give you any benefit?” He then went on to discuss the core brand projects for the VW brand, noting that EVs will make up 80 percent of annual sales by 2030. The marque, based in Wolfsburg, has already declared plans to become a purely electric automaker in Europe by 2033.

During an interview with the German publication Automobilwoche which was made public earlier this month, Thomas Schäfer declared that the upcoming new versions of the Passat and Tiguan vehicles – both set to be released before 2020 ends – as well as the T-Roc in 2025 will mark Volkswagen’s final fresh releases in Europe. As a result, there won’t be any ninth generation Golf cars equipped with an internal combustion engine.

Porsche and Volkswagen’s primary marque have contrasting perspectives pertaining to eFuel as the former launched fabrication of synthetic fuel on its site in Chile. For the trial period, the deployment is to fabricate approximately 130,000 liters (34,342 gallons) each annum and enhance annual manufacturing to 550 million (145 million gallons) liters by the middle of the decade. To invoke it, Porsche’s carbon-neutral fuel is generated from water and carbon dioxide using wind power.

For the purpose of clarity, it should be noted that Thomas Schäfer was specifically alluding to the company he helms – Volkswagen’s principal division. Despite the fact that Porsche is within the same automotive conglomerate, it is aiming to protect the internal combustion engine by providing a zero-emission ICE option as an alternative to battery-powered EVs.

Source: Automotive News Europe (subscription required)

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