Earlier this year, it was confirmed that former BMW executive Dr. Herbert Diess, now chairman of the board of management for Volkswagen Passenger Cars, would present a keynote address at CES, but the details of his speech had not yet been revealed.
This week, with the carmaker still embroiled in the emissions cheating controversy that has become known as ‘dieselgate’, the Consumer Technology Association - organisers of the CES event - has revealed that Diess will focus his address on electric mobility.
“When we agreed to a Volkswagen keynote earlier this year we, along with the world, did not know much about emissions testing,” said CTA president and CEO Gary Shapiro.
“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.”
Volkswagen itself has yet to make an announcement of its plans for CES, although the company - including its subsidiaries - has made a point in recent years of focusing on the continuing development of electric and plug-in hybrid technologies.
Speaking with CarAdvice early in 2014, well before the carmaker had been implicated in a plan to fool diesel emissions testing programs, Volkswagen America chief Michael Horn acknowledged a new focus on EVs.
“I think we have to play in all fields [now], clearly,” Horn said.
“In the US you have to do it, in other markets it depends very much on the legislation. So the business model around electric cars is not too good if they [business models] are small, that’s why we build fully zero-emission cars, plug-in hybrids and hybrids [to cater to different markets].”
Nine carmakers and more than 115 automotive tech companies will debut new technologies, concepts and products at CES 2016, which will open to the media on January 4 and the public on January 6.