Much has changed since Volkswagen presented its ambitious plan to revamp its lineup with hybrid and fully electric vehicles. The company hopes to add 75 pure-electric models by 2029, many of which will circulate on the Group’s MEB platform. But there are new players and potential competitors who have changed the landscape. In an interview with Autoblog, Thomas Ulbrich, member of the VW board for electric mobility, describes the rest of VW’s efforts in electric vehicles.
Ulbrich calls Rivian by name in the interview, saying the company’s efforts to build a fully electric pickup have piqued VW’s interests. “Step by step, our investigation and research make us think it is becoming more possible,” he told the publication. The most obvious possibility for an electric VW pickup is the Amarok, mentioned by Ulbrich. The future of the Amarok, however, is in Ford’s hands.
The two signed a partnership agreement first announced in 2019, and part of it included Ford supplying VW with a truck that would be the second-generation Amarok. There are no rumors of a fully electric next-generation Ranger; however, a plug-in hybrid is possible, which corresponds to the Group’s plan to offer 60 hybrids alongside its EVs if both share the vehicle’s engine.
Other plans for the platform include cars that will be placed under the ID.3, currently the smallest MEB-based car. Ulbrich said Autoblog the company plans to introduce the first of these small cars in 2023 or 2024. This seems to corroborate a rumor last month that the company will launch a sub-ID.3 model called ID.1 in 2025 with the concept arriving in 2023.
It would generate several variants and replace the VW e-Up !. It should look like ID.3 and sit on the same MEB platform, although Ulbrich said Autoblog that it would be an “adapted version” of the architecture. The platform gives VW great flexibility, targeting large D-segment vehicles like the ID Vizzion and the upcoming stretch sedan to the Chinese market. But flexibility is not a blank check for designers and engineers.