Want a VW Pickup Truck? It’s Planning a U.S. EV Model
We keep hearing rumors that Volkswagen won’t bring its Tarok pickup to the U.S. But now, it looks like VW is getting serious about doing it by making it an EV. According to VW’s CEO Pablo Di Si, it sounds like an EV pickup truck is already in the works. This makes sense with the success of the hybrid-powered Ford Maverick showing the way.
Will the VW pickup be based on the Scout EV?
Some have suggested that if VW pulls the trigger, any pickup it considers for the U.S. will be based on its upcoming Scout platform, which is also an EV. But Di Si told Autoblog that if VW does offer a pickup here that it won’t be from the Scout. That can only mean VW will do what most other automakers do, and that is to make a truck from an SUV platform, or vice-versa.
So that means the Volkswagen EV pickup will be based on the Tarok, which is based on the Atlas SUV. This also makes sense because the Atlas, which is available here, is built in Chattanooga, Tennessee. So it can share that assembly plant without getting the dreaded chicken tax.
Will the VW pickup even be an EV?
The chicken tax is a levy on commercial vehicles manufactured outside of North America. With the tax, there is no way the Tarok can be competitive. And because the Atlas and Tarok share so many components, the Chattanooga plant is already making part of it now.
But the Atlas is not electric. And that is another hint given by the CEO, who said it will be electric. “Let me define, electrified. It can be electric, or it can be a plug-in. But it cannot be a combustion engine, that’s for sure.”
When will VW introduce a truck?
While all of this sounds like it is years off, auto executives never reveal too much about future products. So with the Atlas being six years old, you know a new version is already in the works. The refresh it receives this year buys it another two years. So while this isn’t four or six years off, we won’t see it until 2025 at the earliest.
VW has been in the maelstrom of electrification development. With so many different vehicles through its Audi, Porsche, Bentley, Seat, and Skoda brands, there are a lot of bread-and-butter vehicles that are more of a priority. But in the U.S., pickup trucks are the largest market. So to really compete here, it needs them as much as it needs SUVs, which are the major development focus right now.
But developing a new Atlas SUV now makes it easier to incorporate Tarok pickup truck variants. So the timing of Di Si’s comments is prescient. Let’s just hope that the company doesn’t take as long to introduce a pickup truck here as it has taken to get the id.Buzz to production. By our estimates, it has taken almost seven years from concept to completion.