Volkswagen is looking at Apple products for guidance on how to style its new generation of electric cars, its top designer said, as the automaker aims to turn profits on battery-powered vehicles when they launch in 2020.
For Europe’s biggest automaker, adopting simplicity as the guiding principle for future styling of electric vehicles (EVs) marks a departure from the era before its 2015 “dieselgate” emissions scandal, when vehicle design conveyed the German group’s engineering prowess and technological ambitions.
“We are currently redefining the Volkswagen values for the age of electrification,” Klaus Bischoff, head of VW brand design, said in an interview. “What’s at stake is to be as significant, purist and clear as possible and also to visualise a completely new architecture.”
With regulators slashing emissions on a fast timetable, dieselgate has also energised the costly shift to EVs that is necessary to compete in China, VW’s largest market, and to avoid future fines in Europe.
Previously a laggard on electrification, VW has pledged 34bil euros (RM165bil) of investment in EVs, self-driving technology and digital mobility businesses across the group by 2022.
The core namesake brand alone will spend 6bil euros (RM29bil) on a new modular platform dubbed MEB designed to underpin over 20 purely battery-powered models such as the I.D. hatchback, I.D. Crozz crossover and the I.D. Buzz microbus.
Bischoff said VW will use the Geneva auto show on March 5 to 7 to give early guidance on what the post-I.D. generation of EVs might look like, but declined to elaborate. — Reuters