Volkswagen, which has been increasingly shifting its focus to electronic vehicles, says it will stop making gas-powered cars entirely in 2026.
Michael Jost, who heads strategy for the automaker, made the announcement at a conference at the company’s Wolfsburg, Germany headquarters Tuesday, saying “in the year 2026 will be the last product start on a combustion engine platform”.
A spokesperson confirmed to Reuters that the remarks meant the company will focus on electric cars instead.
That would put the company in direct competition with Elon Musk’s Tesla. Last month, Volkswagen announced plans for a €20,000 ($22,700) electric vehicle and said it was converting three of its German factories to focus on electric cars.
Volkswagen is the world’s largest carmaker, selling some 10.7 million vehicles last year. But a diesel emissions scandal in its Audi subsidiary in 2015 and shifting consumer habits have caused it to dramatically shift focus away from traditional vehicles. The company plans to make 50 million electric cars, but has not provided a timeline for that goal. Production on electric VWs will begin by the end of this year. By 2022, it expects to have 22 models available.
It’s hardly alone. Other German carmakers have also entered the electric car market on the luxury side. In September, Audi started production on its e-tron and Mercedes-Benz unveiled its EQC model.