Volkswagen Shifts Focus to Electric Vehicles after Diesel Emission Scandal

June 21, 2016

Over the past year, the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal has been the on forefront of news for the German automobile company. Volkswagen was accused of, and admitted to altering their emission performance data in diesel-powered cars in the U.S. through the use of a “defeat device”. The defeat device is a piece of software that is able to detect when the car is being tested, and change and improve the emission performance data. Volkswagen capitalized on the scandal through a large marketing campaign focused on the diesel cars’ lower emissions, when in reality, the diesel cars were emitting pollutants in quantities well above U.S. air standards.

However, Volkswagen has admitted their mistake, and has recently began efforts to bounce back from the scandal and renew their public image and trustworthiness. In a completely different direction from diesel vehicle efficiency, Volkswagen has launched an electric vehicle campaign known as “Together – Strategy 2025”. This plan proposes the introduction of 30 new electric vehicle models, and to sell 2 to 3 million of them per year, all by 2025. To do this, Volkswagen will focus on improved battery technology and range. Range limitations are a big issue in electric vehicle demand, and improved range will attract buyers. The campaign will also seek to improve mobility, with better on-demand transportation options such as ride-sharing and car-sharing using smartphone apps, which will increase options for people not ready to purchase an electric vehicle.

As part of Together – Strategy 2025, Volkswagen has released the BUDD-e van concept, an electric micro-bus with a 233-mile range on a single charge (according to EPA standards) and a top speed of 93 miles per hour. Volkswagen believes that the BUDD-e, or at least technological components of the BUDD-e have potential to be available on the market by 2020. The BUDD-e model displayed at the Consumer Electronics Conference in January 2016 is shown below.

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More on the diesel emissions scandal:
More on the Together- Strategy 2025:
More on the BUDD-e: