Volkswagen chief Thomas Schafer doesn’t tow the company line on the prospect of e-fuels because there doesn’t appear to be a company line. Schafer dismissed the possibility that future VW cars could be powered by e-fuels, which Porsche CEO and VW CEO Oliver Blume has touted as a promising technology to power vehicles in the next decade. The next little while at VW’s water coolers might be awkward.
“That's unnecessary noise from my point of view,” Schafer told Automotive News Europe. “By 2035 [combustion engines] are over anyway. We said by 2033 we're done. By 2030 we plan that 80 percent of our vehicles sold in Europe are battery electric, so why spend a fortune on old technology that doesn't really give you any benefit?”
Blume said last month that the cost to produce e-fuels was "worth it," and wasn't shy in saying the future for Porsche's iconic sports cars like the 911 were directly tied to e-fuels.
"The 911 will be offered as a car with an ICE as long as it is possible," he said.
Schafer said his opinion on the fuel going forward doesn’t put him at odds with Blume, adding that Blume isn’t really the driving force behind the push to exclude vehicles powered e-fuels to the 2035 ban in Europe of new cars with internal-combustion engines. Schafer didn’t say who was behind the push to exclude e-fuels from the ban, but Blume and Porsche were outspoken supporters of the technology. So, does this mean that we'll have to attend two Christmas parties in the future?
“Quite the opposite. We are both pragmatic people who work close with the entire team. Our backgrounds in production give us a common ground. We consistently exchange ideas because the Volkswagen brand is very close to his heart,” he said.
Schafer also touched on a variety of subjects, including confirmation there are no plans for a ninth-generation Golf, a continuation of popular VW names for electric vehicles, a GTI version of the recently announced ID.2, and a dodgy answer on whether the upcoming electric SUV coming out of Wolfsburg would be called a Tiguan: “It could be, but it doesn’t have to be,” he said. Nice.
Regarding a new electric Golf, Schafer said there wouldn’t be one until VW’s new electric platform began production, which won’t happen before 2028.
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