Volkswagen To Unveil Brand-New All-Electric Concept Car, Redefine Role of Car as Connected Device

Next month, just a few days into the start of 2016, the annual Consumer Electronics Show kicks off in Las Vegas, showcasing the world’s biggest and best consumer electronic brands and highlighting future technology from fields as diverse as medical equipment through to automobiles, kitchen appliances and computers.

For four days (five if you count the press preview day) journalists from all over the world will descend on Las Vegas Convention Center to hear how technology will change the world we live in, interview high-flying company CEOs, and discover the next big thing to impact the world around us in 2016.

Dr. Herbert Diess. (photo by xxx)

Dr. Herbert Diess. (photo by Rudolf Simon [CC BY-SA 3.0]

Dr. Herbert Diess, Chairman of the Board of Management at Volkswagen, will be one such company executive to put in an appearance at CES 2016. Announced today via a joint press release from Volkswagen and the Consumer Technology Association (the organization which owns and operates CES), the Volkswagen executive will be giving a Keynote presentation on January 5, unveiling a brand-new all-electric concept car and laying out Volkswagen’s plans for defining the role of its cars in a world dominated by the Internet of Things.

His role? To look forward to a brighter future where Volkswagen vehicles are powered by greener fuel choices and are more connected to the world around them — not to continue Volkswagen’s painful apology process for the actions which led to dieselgate.

To that end, Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the CTA, is keen to note that although Volkswagen was invited to attend and give a keynote before the dieselgate scandal broke, CTA is still happy to welcome Volkswagen to CES.

“CES is a celebration of diverse ideas. Our stage is open to those who bring innovation and can showcase how technology is changing the world, at times open even to those who bring controversy,” he said in a prepared statement. “When we agreed to a Volkswagen keynote earlier this year we, along with the world, did not know much about emissions testing, but after talking with Dr. Diess I felt the CES audience would be interested in his vision and curious about his plans for a new type of sustainable car. Now, VW has an opportunity at CES to show the world its designs for the future and how the company views electric mobility and sustainability.” 

In previous years, Volkswagen demonstrated intelligent charging systems for the e-Golf

In previous years, Volkswagen demonstrated intelligent charging systems for the e-Golf

Sadly, Volkswagen isn’t ready to tell us  what to expect from its as-yet unnamed, top-secret all-electric CES concept car. But given Volkswagen’s previous forays into autonomous vehicle and all-electric car technology — which have included automated parking and wireless charging demonstrations — we’re expecting a car that is capable of both driving itself under all-electric propulsion as well as one which can park and charge itself.

Of course, Volkswagen won’t be the only automaker in attendence this year. In total, more than 115 automotive technology companies will make an appearance at CES this coming January, with nine automakers using the show as a chance to showcase brand-new products.

Volkswagen is keen to set itself up as a tech-rich automaker.

Volkswagen is keen to set itself up as a tech-rich automaker.

We don’t know yet quite what to expect from Volkswagen and Dr. Diess’ presentation. But we can tell you that we’ll be at CES in January to cover all the future car technology we can, including the world debut on the production 2016 Chevrolet Bolt EV as well as the public unveiling of new electric automaker Faraday Future.

The day following Dr. Diess’ keynote, General Motors CEO Mary Barra will give her own keynote presentation at CES, at which we’re expecting her to unveil the aforementioned production 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV.

As for Volkswagen? There’s nothing like the start of a new year to let us reflect on our successes and failures of the past twelve months, collect our thoughts, and set some new goals and resolutions for the the year ahead. Even if you’ve had a terrible year, the prospect of starting the new year afresh can be enough to have a positive impact on your life.

Perhaps CES in January is just what Volkswagen needs to start afresh.

And if you agree, we’d like to know what you’re expecting VW to unveil there. Leave your thoughts in the Comments below.


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