As expected, senior vice president of product marketing and strategy Hein Schafer can’t make a case for them. Speaking to Autoline After Hours from the 25:37 mark of the following clip, the high-ranking official made it clear that “a combustion-powered pickup is, for us, definitely a thing of the past.”
“There’s been a lot of discussion about how to break the pickup market here in the U.S. and how to get into it,” added Schafer. “A new battery-electric platform does open a new door for us, giving us the potential opportunity to bring some sort of a mid-size pickup or maybe something a little bit larger.”
There is, however, something that has to happen before the e-truck comes to fruition. “If we do build a large SUV on the MEB platform, maybe a large pickup might potentially also make sense,” he told Autoline After Hours.
Reading between the lines, Volkswagen still considers the U.S. truck market a golden goose that is worth chasing. But in typical Volkswagen fashion, the German automaker lets competitors try their best at making an e-pickup before getting into the segment with its own design.
Something else that VW has to address before developing an electric workhorse is battery capacity. The ID.3 hatchback and ID.4 crossover are available with up to 82 kWh and 340 miles (550 kilometers) of driving range, which means a mid-size pickup needs at least 100 kWh. Lordstown and Rivian, for example, offer up to 109 kWh and 180 kWh, respectively.
Whatever the future holds, Volkswagen won’t find it easy to compete against the Big Three in Detroit in terms of pickups. Both the Ford Motor Company and Stellantis are currently developing all-electric versions of the F-150 and Ram 1500, and even Chevy has an e-Silverado in the making.