As emission laws become ever more strict, automobile manufacturers have already been shifting focus on building electric and hybrid powered vehicles. However for commercial vehicles, such as trucks and buses, most manufacturers are still using diesel engines due to limitations on current hybrid and electric powertrain technology. With Volkswagen already focusing on an electric future for their passenger vehicles, report says that they are also planning to roll out electric-powered commercial vehicles soon.
According to Bloomberg, Volkswagen Truck & Bus division will be investing some $1.7 billion US over the next five years into developing new technology, which includes electric powertrains, autonomous systems and cloud-based software. Furthermore, the newly developed systems will also be implemented on other VW group brands, such as MAN and Scania.
“We believe in a wide range of alternative powertrains and fuels, depending on local availability, social and local demand and customer requirements. Therefore it is crucial that policy makers adopt a technology-neutral approach" in any regulations,” said Andreas Renschler VW Truck & Bus division head speaking to Bloomberg.
Volkswagen will also be developing and rolling out their own electric trucks, with their first medium-duty electric truck, built with Navistar, set to launch somtime in 2019. By 2020, Volkswagen plans to launch their all-electric commercial truck called the e-Delivery, which was revealed recently. As for buses, MAN and Scania electric buses will enter the market next year to add to their already existing line up, which includes bio-diesel and hybrids.