Final end: VW does not want to produce natural gas cars anymore
- In the future, the German car company VW will go all electric.
- The company does not want to develop natural gas as another alternative propulsion system.
- A look at the inventory figures of the Federal Motor Transport Authority explains why: The sales figures of the models are too low.
Wolfsburg. In the future, the Volkswagen car group will no longer develop new models with natural gas engines. “These cars are no longer getting successors”, VW development chief Frank Welsch told the Handelsblatt newspaper (Monday). Reason for this are low sales figures of the models. “The market response has not grown”, said Welsch. It is also not foreseeable that the sales figures can be increased recognizably.
Instead, VW is concentrating on electromobility – alternative drive systems such as synthetic fuels and hydrogen have also been left out of the equation for series models, he said. “If we take the mobility turnaround and environmental targets seriously, we must focus on battery-electric drive systems”, said Welsch. Everything else wastes renewable energy.
Number of electric vehicles lags far behind
According to current data from the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA), just under 82,200 cars with natural gas drive systems were registered in Germany at the beginning of this year. This was only 1.8 percent more than the year before and corresponded to a share of 0.2 percent of the total fleet of passenger cars registered in Germany. The number of liquid gas cars actually fell by 6.1 percent to around 371,470 units. The stock of hydrogen cars at the beginning of this year was 507 vehicles.
Although the number of electric vehicles also lags significantly behind expectations. But the growth rates are significantly higher. Just over 136,600 cars with electric motors were registered as of the reporting date 1. The number of CNGs registered in Germany in January was more than 64 percent higher than in the previous year. However, the German government had once set a target of one million electric cars by the end of 2020. In view of the low level, the federal government has since cancelled this plan.
One million more cars on German roads than last year
Despite all the talk about reducing the number of cars on the roads, the total number of vehicles has recently increased significantly. A total of 65.8 million vehicles were registered in Germany on 1. January in Germany, as reported by the KBA on Monday. That was around one million more than a year earlier. Cars accounted for the largest share. Their number increased by around 700,000 to just under 47.7 million units at last count. The number of SUVs rose particularly sharply – by nearly 20 percent to about 3.77 million.
According to the KBA, nearly 98 percent of all car drives were still gasoline and diesel. On average, all registered vehicles in this country as of 1. January 9.6 years old. The average age thus increased slightly by 0.1 years compared with the previous year. More than 857,000 vehicles were over 30 years old.
Natural gas industry in concern
The announcement by the VW Group that it would no longer be developing natural gas models in the future caused particular concern in the German natural gas industry on Monday. According to the report, “the Volkswagen Group is a long way from saying goodbye to the gas car in the short term, communicated the executive committee of the industry initiative future natural gas, Timm Kehler, with. “Several new CNG models from the Group’s brands are said to be about to be launched on the market.” CNG is the abbreviation for compressed natural gas.
VW confirmed on Monday meanwhile the “Handelsblatt”-Report and the statements of the development chief to be read in it. However, a spokesman stressed that this was not a step that would take place “overnight, but rather in the long term.
Criticism of EU funding measures
The initiative renewed criticism of the EU for favoring electric drives over alternative drive systems. “The EU is putting all its eggs in one basket”, says the statement from Zukunft Erdgas, which was made available to the Deutsche Presse-Agentur on Monday.