Electric Cars More Inevitable, VW Says

Tesla has done a lot to jumpstart the major auto manufacturers’ electrification efforts. The company has shown that electric cars for the masses are a possibility. Other manufacturers have taken notice and strengthened their own efforts to pursue creating more electric cars in their lineups. Volkswagen seems to be falling in line as well.

A blue Volkwagen electric SUV sits on display before a blue background.
The Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV | Volkswagen

Electric cars are “more inevitable”

In a recent interview, Volkswagen Group of America senior VP of strategy Reinhard Fischer said that electric cars are “more inevitable.” He went on to outline a few reasons for that shift. We will touch on each of them.

Air quality and electric car adoption

The COVID-19 related stay-at-home orders have meant that smog pollution during lockdown has been minimized, according to Mr. Fischer. This has given people a better awareness of the importance of clean air quality. As a result, more people are inclined to consider electric cars, which do not negatively impact the environment’s air quality. He also anticipates that municipalities may even enact tougher emission regulations to try to hang on to that cleaner air.

The rear of an old SUV has "Clunker" written across the liftgate glass.
An SUV that was traded in for the Cash For Clunkers program sits in a storage lot August 26, 2009 in Fairfield, California | Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

In the United States, another Cash-for-Clunkers program is being considered. The previous program encouraged consumers to get rid of older, heavier pollutant vehicles. Even years later, experts can not agree on the program’s effectiveness and financial burden. So, the thought of a newer, similar program is having mixed reactions.

Gas stations and electrification

Mr. Fischer also indicated that handling a potentially virus-laden gas pump handle has also caused concern among consumers. It is true that more and more people pause and consider protection before handling a pump handle. Electric cars often offer home chargers for purchase. So, the only persons handling the plug would be people of the same household.

A motorist uses a pump as they re-fuel their car with unleaded petrol
A motorist uses a pump as they re-fuel their car with unleaded gas | DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images

Diesel emissions cheating scandal

Volkswagen is also still feeling the sting of the Dieselgate scandal. For years the company sold cars with programming installed on devices that defeated diesel emissions testing equipment. This, of course, was bad for the environment. But, the fact that Volkswagen willfully intended to find a way around the laws put the company’s good reputation at stake. The company had previously been pretty proud of its diesel powerplants. Many lawsuits later, Volkswagen is now, however, fortifying its efforts in the shift toward electric cars.

Current electric car plans

Currently, Volkswagen is preparing the way for the introduction of two electric vehicles that the company is excited about, the ID.4 and the ID.Buzz. The two vehicles are part of an initiative by the manufacturer to build 1.5 million EVs as early as 2025. The ID.4 is a crossover SUV that is expected to go on sale before the end of the year. The ID.Buzz is still in concept form. However, the Volkswagen website says the production for the vehicle will begin in the EU market during 2022. No indication is given yet as a target date for the United States.


EV Owners to Get Cash From Vehicle-To-Grid Technology

Mr. Fischer’s proclamation that electric vehicles are “more inevitable” is an indication that the automotive market indicators are pointing to increased consumer desire for less toxic transportation. Tesla’s swift sales certainly point to that as well. So, Volkswagen may be finally giving in and looking at a broader roll-out of hybrid or full-electric vehicles. It is safe to say also that most automotive manufacturers in the United States are probably considering the same.