Electric revolution unlikely to affect farmers for some time, VW boss says

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 12 March 2019, 3:00PM
VW is set to phase out diesel and petrol cars and focus on electric vehicles. (Photo / Getty)

An electric revolution is coming, but farmers may be immune for now.

Car companies are ramping up their eco-friendly efforts, with many planning to produce more electric than diesel vehicles by the end of the next decade, with some vowing they will stop making them all together.

Last year, Volkswagen's strategy chief told an industry conference that the "next generation" of diesel and petrol cars, expected around 2026, will be the last for the company. 

General Manger of VW for New Zealand Tom Ruddenklau told The Country's Jamie Mackay that this is being driven largely by European Union legislation. 

"Car companies are having to make sure that their mix of vehicles, that they have a large portion that are electric, in order for them to meet CO2 emission targets."

He says Volkswagen has taken this seriously and are investing heavily in the electric vehicle market. Ruddenklau says they want to make electric vehicles are accessible as possible. 

"They want to sell a couple of million vehicles off their platform over the first two or three years." 

However, Ruddenklau says that until they invent the electric tractor, farmers and rural communities will likely

"There's some applications where diesel vehicles continue to prevail, and heavy equipment is going to still exist, and I think the ute actually will for a long time too.

"Electric vehicles are great for towing, but they don't go very far. They hover up the battery pretty quick." 

Other car companies are also embracing the electric revolution. Honda has said they will stop releasing diesel vehicles in Europe in 2021. 

Simon Barnett and Phil Gifford Afternoons

Simon Barnett and Phil Gifford Afternoons

12PM - 4PM