Volkswagen Group has shouted from the rooftops that the company has a host of new battery-electric vehicles coming to market, but it’s apparently not so hot on plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Simply put, the company is not planning on offering any plug-in hybrids in North America.
The news is a bit perplexing, given Volkswagen has regular hybrid vehicles planned on the low end of the electrification world. This means there will be a fairly broad gap between VW’s hybrid models and its full-fledge battery-electric models that would normally be filled with plug-in hybrid tech.
Car And Driver recently spoke with VW brand boss Herbert Diess, who point-blank stated that the VW brand has no plans for plug-in hybrids in America. Specifically, Diess cited that VW feels the emissions gain they provide isn’t worth the cost in the U.S. That said, he didn’t rule out omitting plug-in hybrids from all markets, including Europe.
VW’s polarized view of plug-in hybrids stems from one product in particular. The company aspires to make the Tiguan crossover the best-selling in the world. In today’s market, it would seem offering a hybrid version may be needed in order to achieve that lofty goal. VW seems to think offering a gas-only version in North America and possibly in Europe will suffice, but noted the decision to offer plug-in hybrids in China is still to be determined.
Diess failed to provide the publication any further specifics regarding the company’s odd view on plug-in hybrid models. One possible technicality could be the fact the company is spending huge amounts of R&D money on battery-electric vehicles, such as the ID Buzz and ID Crozz. Achieving the company’s goal of selling over one-million battery-electric vehicles per year by 2025 will not come cheap, which could be straining the VW R&D budget left for plug-in models.