Volkswagen’s technical chief says combustion engines “will have a longer future than some people predict”.

Matthias Rabe, VW’s chief technical officer, told Autocar combustion engines still had an important role to play despite increasingly stringent emissions standards and the subsequent shift towards electric vehicles.

Interestingly, the 57-year-old suggested combustion engines “will have a longer future than some people predict” as he predicts the industry will adopt synthetic fuels in future.

“We will come to e-fuels. If you look at the aviation industry, e-fuels are in high demand because [planes] won’t go electric, otherwise you won’t cross the Atlantic,” Rabe explained.

“We take our CO2 targets very seriously and want to be a role model on CO2 but that doesn’t mean we will exclude the combustion engine.”