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Why Volkswagen Is Going Electric at CES

December 9, 2015, 5:29 PM UTC
The logo of German car maker Volkswagen (VW) is seen at Northern Virginia dealer in Woodbridge, Virginia on September 29, 2015.
Photograph by Paul J. Richards — AFP/Getty Images

Volkswagen is ready to distance itself from the diesel emissions cheating scandal that has forced the company to restructure and eviscerated its sales in the U.S. So, the German automaker is taking the calculated step into electric vehicles.

Volkswagen, which long touted the environmental and fuel efficiency benefits of its now tainted turbocharged diesel injection engines, will reveal an electric concept car at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. Dr. Herbert Diess, chairman of Volkswagen Passenger Cars, will deliver a keynote address at the upcoming CES 2016 in Las Vegas, according to the Consumer Technology Association, which owns the Consumer Electronics Association. Diess will use the CES stage to launch an all-electric concept car. His keynote is expected to focus on electric mobility driving the automotive market.

Diess was appointed to the board of Volkswagen (VLKAY) and chairman Volkswagen Passenger Cars earlier this year. Prior to joining Volkswagen, he sat on BMW’s board.

Audi and Porsche AG, which are both owned by Volkswagen, have also announced plans in recent weeks to introduce electric vehicles.

MORE: Volkswagen Doesn’t Have a CO2 Problem After All

Audi of America president Scott Keogh told Fortune during a dinner event ahead of the L.A. Auto Show in November that by 2025, at least one quarter of all Audi cars sold in the U.S. will have a plug. The announcement was cast by some as an attempt by Audi to divert attention away—and distance itself from—parent company Volkswagen and the emissions cheating scandal that continues to swirl around it. However, the shift to electric has been underway for several years, not just since September when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency alleged that certain four-cylinder engine Volkswagen vehicles were equipped to fraudulently pass emissions tests.

Porsche announced last week it would produce an all-electric four-door sports car—its first on the market. Porsche introduced the car as a concept called the Mission E at the 2015 Frankfurt International Motor Show in September. The vehicle is expected to have more than 600 horsepower (or 440 kilowatts in system power) and about a 310-mile battery range. It won’t hit the road until at least 2020.

For more about Volkswagen and the emissions cheating scandal, check out this video.

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