Volkswagen Group Australia (VGA) is poised to announce an expansion of its EV model rollout – which we expect to involve the much-anticipated ID.Buzz and its ID.Cargo offshoot.
The Cupra Born hatchback will lead the charge from the first quarter of 2023. The Group also intends to launch the Volkswagen ID.4 and ID.5 SUVs before the end of next year, with orders on the Skoda Enyaq iV slated to commence around the same time.
It also recently confirmed the Volkswagen ID.3 hatch – a twin-under-the-skin to the Cupra Born – would come to Australia following its mid-life update, expected during 2024.
VW is keeping its powder dry beyond these announcements, but VGA managing director Paul Sansom dropped a hint this week when announcing a partnership with home- and work-charging provider JET Charge.
“Already this year VGA has confirmed production of new BEVs across our brands with the strong likelihood of another to come shortly,” Mr Sansom said.
It is our understanding that the Volkswagen ID.Buzz and ID.Cargo are the vehicles alluded to, although the company has not confirmed as much.
Want to know more about the ID.Buzz? You can read our European review here.
Demand is definitely there: Volkswagen Commercial told us as much earlier this year, saying it was already fielding enquiries.
“We have big aspirations in terms of volume for that car, so we are confident that we’re going to get it. With what we have put on the table, with what we can achieve here from a volume perspective, we think the factory would be pretty happy with that appetite,” Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Australia brand director Ryan Davies told CarExpert.
The company said at that stage 2024 was the very earliest it would bring the ID.Buzz and ID.Cargo due to sellout demand across global markets. However the company has since made no secret that it was been lobbying to bring forward the start of EV production for Australia.
How successful it will be at this will likely be tied into the nature of Australia’s incoming National Electric Vehicle Strategy, which this week moved to the consultation paper stage.
Top of VGA’s wish list is a binding fuel efficiency or emissions standard, which Mr Sansom says is a non-negotiable to unlock greater EV supply from its European factories.
“… A federally mandated emissions target for our industry is non-negotiable if Australia’s supply of electric vehicles is to grow from a trickle to a flow and thereby start to meet ever growing demand,” he added.
“Markets where auto makers face financial consequences for failing to meet targets are prioritised for zero emission vehicles. Volkswagen Group Australia wants binding regulations that compel our factories to consider us. Greater supply inevitably leads to greater affordability.”
Mr Sansom sits on the board of the EV Council, which was a co-host of the aforementioned EV Summit. He is also Deputy Chair of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), the peak body for Australia’s car brands.
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