Volkswagen announced Tuesday -- for real this time -- that its American branch will be renamed "Voltswagen" in a nod to its new line of electric vehicles.
"More than a name change, 'Voltswagen' is a public declaration of the company's future-forward investment in e-mobility," the automaker said in a press release.
An unfinished news release on the move was briefly published Monday, sparking speculation it was a joke.
The company said March marks a "milestone," as the ID.4, its first long-range, zero direct-emission electric SUV hit more than 600 dealers across the United States. Preparations began more than two years ago, with dealers installing Level 2 charging stations and training electronic vehicle specialists.
The ID.4 starts at $32,495 with all-wheel drive options and semi-autonomous capabilities. The vehicle's 1st Edition, which features all-white interior accents and a panoramic fixed glass roof, has sold out.
"We might be changing out our K for a T, but what we aren't changing is this brand's commitment to making best-in-class vehicles for drivers and people everywhere," said Scott Keogh, president and CEO of Voltswagen of America. "The idea of a 'people's car' is the very fabric of our being. We have said from the beginning of our shift to an electric future that we will build EVs for the millions, not just millionaires."
The company aims to make its global business carbon neutral by 2050 and sell more than 70 electric models across Volkswagen group brands by 2029. It was one of five brands that signed on to California's proposed fuel economy regulations, which aim to impose stricter CO2 standards to help combat climate change.
Starting Monday, "Voltswagen" will be placed as an "exterior badge" on all EV models and models with gas will sport the VW emblem.
Volkswagen of America was founded in 1955 under Volkswagen AG. The name means "people's car" in German.
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