A few years ago, it seemed like every automaker was talking about plans to bring plug-in hybrid (PHEV) cars to market. After all, they seemed like a good compromise, offering short-range electric mobility for the city, while packing a gas engine to assuage any range anxiety about battery life. But for Volkswagen, plug-in hybrids are a thing of the past: The automaker will focus on all-electric cars and has no plans for any PHEVs in the US market.
"It's a bridging technology," between internal-combustion and full-electric cars, Matthew Renna, Volkswagen North America Region's vice president of e-mobility, told journalists in Chicago on Thursday. "It's very cost-prohibitive to have two different powertrains on one platform."
It's important to note that Renna's statement applies only to the VW brand in the US. He said that other Volkswagen Group brands, such as Porsche, could still sell PHEVs, and that Europe or other markets might also pursue the technology.
Volkswagen has made no secret of the fact that its future involves launching a range of battery-electric cars on its new. The cars, which so far have been called , will be built at multiple factories around the world, including . The first ID-family electrics should arrive at the end of next year as VW aims to make EVs cars, "For millions, not millionaires," Renna said.
To that end, Renna promised that Volkswagen will sell the electric cars in all 50 US states. Some affordable EVs have launched only in so-called ZEV states -- California and other states with specific mandates requiring the sale of electric cars -- or regions with existing high EV sales. But VW intends to offer the new models as widely as possible.
"The plan is to sell nationwide," Renna said. "The goal is a nationwide roll-out ASAP."