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Volkswagen plans to phase out gas and diesel engines by 2026

By
Ed Adamczyk
The Volkswagen e-Golf is Volkswagen's only electric-powered vehicle. File Photo by Molly Riley/UPI
The Volkswagen e-Golf is Volkswagen's only electric-powered vehicle. File Photo by Molly Riley/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 5 (UPI) -- Volkswagen has said it expects its next generation of gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles to be the last comprised mostly of internal combustion-engine automobiles.

Auto manufacturers are under pressure to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and many are turning to all-electric vehicles. Volkswagen Group, the world's largest automaker, said Tuesday its internal combustion engine technology is scheduled to be in use until 2026.

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The automaker is embarking on an overhaul to make all motors in its 300-model lineup carbon-neutral. It's already begun a rollout of new electric-powered vehicles across its 12 brands, starting with the Porsche Taycan, and has earmarked $50 billion to be spent in the next five years on electric and self-driving cars.

Since Volkswagen currently has only one electric vehicle in production, the e-Golf, the company has embarked on a radical program for the future.

"Our colleagues are working on the last platform for vehicles that aren't CO2 neutral," Michael Jost, Volkswagen strategy chief, said at an industry conference in Wolfsburg, Germany, Tuesday. "We're gradually fading out combustion engines to the absolute minimum."

Jost added that there may still be some gasoline or diesel engines in the mix, for regions with insufficient charging infrastructure.

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He said Volkswagen needs to be a leader in clean energy vehicles, after the company admitted to cheating on diesel emission tests involving 11 million vehicles worldwide.

"Yes, we have a clear responsibility here," Jost said. "We made mistakes."

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