Dieselgate, when it was revealed Volkswagen was deliberately cheating emissions tests by using a defeat device, hit the company hard in 2015.
It was this saga that drove Volkswagen to clean up its act, and plunge billions into its electrification technology.
Speaking to media at the Volkswagen ID.3 unveiling at the Frankfurt motor show, Volkswagen board member and chief operating officer, Ralf Brandstatter, said while the automaker was already moving on electrification, Dieselgate was a motivator to get things happening faster.
"Of course we are in a transformation, we know that this change of a system will not happen from one day to another, but we are going this direction and we want to go it until the end," Brandstatter said.
As far as new models go, Volkswagen turned the ID.3 around pretty quickly, with a development phase of less than four years. This included developing an all-new platform, dubbed MEB, to support electric vehicles within the group.
"In 2020 we will bring this car to the customer and since three and a half years we have been working on the ID.3 and have been creating exclusively for electric cars a new modular electro kit on this technology."
Volkswagen has ambitious hopes for the MEB platform, with the brand expecting to produce over one million vehicles on the platform per year. This includes a future push towards solid-state battery technology, with a recent further investment in US-based solid-state battery technology house QuantumScape.
"All of our electric cars will be built until 2025, 20 cars are planned from the VW brand. Until 2025 on this platform we want to produce more than one million cars per year. With this we are reducing the CO2 emissions by 30 per cent," Brandstatter said.
It took a situation like Dieselgate for Volkswagen to really kick into gear on the electrification front, and it looks like those efforts will allow it to play a huge role in the electric vehicle space over the next five to 10 years.