Volkswagen of America is changing its name to “Voltswagen” for its EVs in the U.S., according to reports published by both CNBC and Automotive News.
While unnamed sources are said to have confirmed the news to these publications, it’s still completely possible the name change—spotted in a press release that VW published and then removed—is an April Fools’ Day joke.
Volkswagen has been pursuing its EV offensive in earnest in 2021, including announcing earlier this month that it plans to build six battery factories around the world.
Volkswagen is going electric, and in the U.S., reportedly a full-on name change is how Americans customers will know. In a now-deleted press release, Volkswagen of America said that it is changing its name to “Voltswagen,” and unnamed sources confirmed that name change to both Automotive News and CNBC. The name change won’t be made anywhere beyond the U.S., according to these reports, and gasoline-engined VWs will be badged just “VW.”
Car and Driver has contacted VW for comment but has not yet received a response. At the moment it’s unclear whether the report of a potential name change is nothing more than an April Fools’ Day joke attempt by the automaker.
The press release was reportedly dated April 29, suggesting that it was accidentally posted online a month before it had been intended to appear. According to CNBC, the release said that the “Voltswagen” name would be placed as an exterior badge on all of its electric vehicles while just the VW logo would be on the gas-powered counterparts.
News of the possible name change comes in the same month that VW’s first full-electric vehicle, the ID.4, has gone on sale in the U.S. VW also recently announced aggressive new plans for electrification, including the building of six battery factories and the plan to have electric vehicles reach 50 percent of total sales in the U.S. by 2030. The push toward electrification is part of VW’s strategy for moving beyond the Dieselgate emissions-cheating scandal. As part of court settlements, the automaker agreed to spend $2 billion in the current decade on green energy and electric cars, including paying for new public charging stations and public-education programs.
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