UPDATE: March 30 — Volkswagen has revealed that its announcement about changing its name to “Voltswagen” was merely an early April Fool’s joke.
“Volkswagen of America will not be changing its name to Voltswagen,” the company said in a statement to CNN Business. It added that the announcement was “in the spirit of April Fool’s Day” and meant to highlight the launch of an all-electric SUV and the brand’s “commitment to bringing electric mobility to all.”
The iconic Volkswagen brand is preparing to change its name to “Voltswagen” in the U.S. to highlight its massive investment in electric vehicles.
The German automaker’s announcement about the name change appeared briefly on its media website Monday before it was yanked; it was apparently released too soon, reported USA Today. Officials were mum about the premature announcement, but a source confirmed to the newspaper, CNBC and other media that the statement was accurate.
“More than a name change, ‘Voltswagen’ is a public declaration of the company’s future-forward investment in e-mobility,” said the statement before it was pulled.
The name change was supposed to happen in May.
“The new name and branding symbolize the highly-charged forward momentum Voltswagen has put in motion, pursuing a goal of moving all people point-to-point with EVs,” the release said.
Electric models will reportedly carry the name “Voltswagen” while gas-powered vehicles will retain the standard “VW” identification. To preserve elements of Volkswagen’s heritage, the company plans to retain the dark blue color of the VW logo for gas vehicles and will use light blue for the new “EV-centric branding.”
The company is about to debut the ID.4, its first long-range electric SUV, in the U.S. It’s part of a new lineup of Volkswagen’s ID electric vehicles, including the ID Buzz, a rerun of its microbus. That’s expected to roll out next year in Europe and in America the following year, CNET noted.
The automaker expects that more than 70% of its brand’s European sales and 50% of sales in the U.S. will be electric vehicles by 2030, reported CNBC.