Volkswagen’s emissions scandal may have killed diesel-fueled cars in the U.S. forever.
Prior to September of 2015, cars with diesel engines were on the rise in the United States. Long popular in Europe, the fuel was on the verge of overcoming the stigma of its dirty past and even rivaled hybrid technology as a clean, efficient alternative to gasoline.
Volkswagen led that charge with its Clean Diesel marketing campaign and its promise of efficient, environmentally friendly sedans and SUVs.
Then it all came crashing down when the story broke that VW had cheated on emissions tests and the engines were, in fact, heavy polluters.
The fallout of the scandal is still ongoing and VW hasn’t sold a new diesel automobile in the States in over nine months. The company may not sell one here ever again.
Instead, the future of VW looks to be filled with elective vehicles.
The Detroit Bureau says,
Hoping to rebuild trust as it battles back from its diesel emissions scandal, Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller has announced plans to launch at least 30 electric vehicles by 2025, by which point it hopes to sell anywhere from 2 million to 3 million of them annually.
The switch to an electric-centric product line will cost upwards of $11 billion and is being called “the biggest change in process in the company’s history.”
To be profitable in the EV market, Volkswagen will need to invest in the production of long-range batteries and be able to sell its EV vehicles at a price comparable to its diesel-era cars. Volkswagen will also need to rely on app-based ride-sharing and car-sharing programs.
Electric cars currently hold a small fraction of the market, but their numbers should grow exponentially over the next five years. Many automakers have plans to increase the number of EVs available by 2020, but there’s no guarantee the American public will be ready to buy them.
Volkswagen certainly won’t become an all-electric car company. Investment in the development of the internal combustion engine will continue to be a major focus as the company looks to the future.
It’s a future, though, that very likely won’t include diesel.
In the wake of Volkswagen’s diesel scandal, would you buy one of the company’s electric vehicles?