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Volkswagen has revealed plans to introduce an all-electric version of its Amarok ute, possibly as soon as 2026.
Speaking at the recent Volkswagen Brand Day, where the ID.Buzz and ID. Buzz Cargo electric vans were all-but-confirmed for local sale, Volkswagen Australia commercial vehicles director Ryan Davies revealed that the company has big plans for electric models. Volkswagen revealed that both an eAmarok and eCrafter are “in development” with plans to introduce them by the end of the decade.
Volkswagen revealed last week at the international launch of the new-generation Amarok - which has been developed in partnership with the Ford Ranger - that it was considering introducing an electrified version of the Amarok, with both a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and battery electric vehicles (BEV) under evaluation.
Ford is set to introduce a PHEV powertrain to the Ranger, with a battery pack capable of providing up to 100km of electric-only driving. It’s unclear if that is a possibility for the Volkswagen version of the ute though, with the all-electric eAmarok now firmly on the agenda.
“With the option of PHEV and BEV being available on the platform they’ve decided that BEV is the one they’re focusing on and the one they are most interested in,” Mr Davies said. “That’s been publicly shared with our headquarters that that’s the direction that they’re taking, but it hasn’t had [production] confirmation as yet.”
Any electric version of the Amarok would be built with the Australian market in mind, as we have become critical for the viability of the German model thanks to our preference for powerful, dual-cab utes.
Mr Davies said that Australia is the top market for the new model, both in terms of development priority (with more than 20 Volkswagen engineers and designers based in Australia to work alongside the Ford Australia team on the Ranger/Amarok program) and global sales.
“With the new generation Australia will be the number one market,” Mr Davies said. “South America will be continuing with an iteration of the old generation Amarok, that means they won’t be the highest volume anymore and Australia will be the highest volume market. Hence, we have a strong say in how Amarok is positioned into the future. It’s why we have 20 plus designers and engineers here [in Australia], it’s why we’ll have a strong influence in our production capacities moving forward. We’re pleased we’ve got that position because it will give us the chance to steer the narrative a bit more.”
With that in mind, Mr Davies said he is confident that an eAmarok would be a popular addition to the local line-up.
“I would say yes,” he said. “I think the opportunity here is massive for eAmarok. Potentially what you’ll see is maybe Amarok isn’t so popular in markets around the world and by having an eAmarok it will stir the interest a bit more. It’s a difficult question to answer but I would say comfortably we’d have one of the top five markets for eAmarok - if it comes.”
It’s too early for any meaningful speculation on the specifications for the new model, but Ford executives have previously made it clear to CarsGuide that the new Ranger platform has been ‘future-proofed’ to take an all-electric powertrain during its expected 10 year lifecycle.
In terms of timing, Mr Davies intimated the eAmarok could come as soon as 2026. He suggested that as a possibility with the ID.Buzz models due in Australia by the middle of 2024 and the new Transporter and Caravelle, as well as an also in-development T7 Multivan, arriving in late ‘24 or early ‘25.