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How our electric journey began

1970: Our electric journey begins

In the 1960s, there was a widespread belief that the world's oil reserves would be depleted by the 1990s, motivating Volkswagen to establish its Centre for Future Research.

Despite the later realization that this estimate was off the mark, it fueled the development of the first all-electric Volkswagen, the Elektro Transporter, in 1972. The vehicle, featuring an older and heavier lead accumulator weighing 850kg, underwent testing with a 43.5-mile range and a top speed of 43.5 miles per hour.

Dr. Adolf Kalberlah led the initiative, selecting a T2 Camper chassis to support the substantial weight. The Elektro Transporter, after continued development, went on sale in 1977 with 20 units sold under the memorable slogan: "Zero litres per 100 kilometres!"

1976: We unveil our first hybrid vehicle

Our CityTaxi was entered into a competition launched by the Museum of Modern Art in New York to find the Taxi of the Future.


1981: The CitySTROMer

A prototype of an electrically powered version of our exciting new hatchback, the Golf, was produced in 1976.

It was a one-off, and it wasn't until 1981 that the development of a commercially viable electric Golf - the Golf CitySTROMer - began.

1983: A hybrid concept is realised

We launched our first hybrid Golf concept - a Mars Red Golf I with a twin-shaft electric hybrid drive system.

1991: Chico

We unveiled a concept hybrid minicar known as 'Chico' at the IAA in Frankfurt.

It had a straight-twin petrol engine plus an electric motor, making it economical, reliable, and fun to drive.

1992-1996: Our first electric car

The Golf III CitySTROMer became Volkswagen's first production electric car.

A total of 120 were sold and, incredibly, as many as 50 are still on the road at the time of writing. It is widely recognised as a trailblazer, sought after by transport museums worldwide.

A Golf III CitySTROMer stands proudly in the reception of our Milton Keynes headquarters.

2007 - 2022: Making Inroads on the Way To Zero

A series of leading-edge innovations followed, including the Space Up! Blue in 2007, a people carrier powered in part by the solar panels in its roof; the Nils bubble concept car, a one-seater with gull-wing doors, powered by lithium-ion batteries; and the Golf IV Highbrid in 2002, powered by fuel created from wood chips.

What's next

Power up and save big with the ID.4 & ID.5

Enjoy up to $18,000 off your ID.4 & ID.5 when you book today!

All units come with a minimum of 8 years of free maintenance servicing, a 8-year warranty, and 8 years of road side assistance!

Go electric the Volkswagen way with a 18-month MOON Premium Charging Package, featuring 4 free charges and 2 free car grooming sessions per month. Additionally, get an in-car dash cam, solar tinting film and your 1st year of road tax all for free!

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Thank you for your visit and have fun,
Your Volkswagen team