Back in 2021, Volkswagen secured ownership of the Scout brand—of International Harvester fame—after a merger in which it acquired a trucking company that owned the rights to the name. Rumors started floating around last fall that VW was considering taking a run at Rivian with their own electric SUV and pickup, branded under the Scout badge. The VW board voted on the idea earlier this month and have announced they’re creating Scout as a whole separate brand under the VW group umbrella.
While the first prototypes are expected to arrive as early as 2023, VW is slated to release actual, purchasable models in 2026. So far, only profile sketches exist.
Grand plans include VW making and selling 250,000 of these per year, with production entirely at new factories within the US. The bodies will ride on an entirely new electric platform, too.
By the time they arrive, the electric Hummer will be silently hulking around malls across the country, Rivian will be selling both SUVs and trucks, the rumored EV Bronco might be for sale, and who knows what Hyundai will have cooked up by then—a crowded market for electric SUVs and trucks with off-road chops.
Why automakers are jumping all over electric SUVs capable of serious off-pavement driving is a question mark as vehicles as big and heavy as these require serious batteries. Perhaps they expect the people who want to get out and explore the backcountry will increasingly be green-conscious and shy away from carbon-burning engines. Or that SUVs are the biggest sellers in the country already. Maybe brands expect gas prices to stay high or creep higher, prompting more people to shift to EVs, or even that government regulations will make internal combustion engines a thing of the past much sooner than later.
Further, Chevy is reportedly tooling around with introducing an electric Blazer to rival the Bronco. Meaning that in a few years, you can relive the glory days of 70s muscle trucks, just with electric motors, and oodles of luxury. What a world.