Take this with a grain of internet-sized salt, but we believe Herbert Diess, the CEO of Volkswagen Group, just promised the world an electric VW pickup truck. Okay, the executive hardly promised anything, and in reality, he made only a casual remark in response to a Reddit user's question during an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session on the messaging board. The question? "Hello Herbert, we like the VW designs a lot. My question is, will there be an electric pickup truck like the Ford F-150 Lightning for the USA?"
Setting aside the idea that Reddit user miracle_technology is on a first-name basis with the VW CEO for asecond, here is what Diess had to say in response: "Good idea." The automaker has previously said a pickup was on the table, that it would likely be electric if they built one for the US, but it wouldn't be ready until after 2025 at the earliest, according to VW's chief operating officer back in 2020.
Well, that settles it, then, right? Volkswagen is totally, definitely, maybe going to build an electric pickup truck for the U.S. market. Hardly, though we've heard talk within VW in the past that suggests that if the automaker were to build a truck for America, it wouldn't be some kind of Federalized Amarok, the midsize truck many once assumed would be brought stateside to fight the Ford Ranger, Toyota Tacoma, and others.
Instead, Volkswagen would sooner turn to its new electric vehicle platform and its ID family of EVs for a starting point for a pickup. The idea is, given the costs and effort involved in prepping a conventional truck—either clean sheet or adapted from a global model—for American consumption, and the risks involved in trying to break into the market against established players, the whole idea would be moot. An EV spun off its electric car platform, on the other hand, would be relatively cheap and easy to do.
So there is a kernel of plausibility to what Diess said on Reddit. The company is marshaling its resources toward introducing a gaggle of new EVs in the coming years, and it could stand out further by introducing some kind of unique, all-electric truck.
It could take the form of something funky like the pickups from VW's past, either an electrified new-age Caddy (the front-wheel-drive, Golf-based car-pickup it sold here in the 1980s) or, as we've rendered here, a "Doka" truck version of the upcoming ID Buzz electric microbus revival that recalls the crew-cab pickup version of the old Vanagon. Will it happen? If VW gets more positive feedback outside of Reddit, you could almost bet on it...