VW will lead electric car breakthrough, ‘not self-proclaimed pioneers’

Electric car breakthrough ‘will not be delivered by self-proclaimed pioneers’ says VW

Matthias Muller VW Group 2017Volkswagen believes it is set to deliver a genuine global electric car breakthrough with its promise to be the world’s largest electric car manufacturer by 2025 – and its move to e-mobility will be far more significant than the efforts of other smaller car companies.

“With Roadmap E,” said Volkswagen Group CEO Matthias Müller on the eve of the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, we are setting the scene for the final breakthrough for e-mobility”.

“This breakthrough will not come from the self-styled pioneers. It will come from those who can get a new technology up and running on a truly relevant scale. We are not talking about a company with annual sales of 200,000 or 300,000 cars. We are talking about a Group that puts more than 10 million vehicles on the road per year… in all segments… almost anywhere in the world.”

Müller said that by 2025, one in every four new Volkswagen Group cars could be a pure EV. “We are talking about up to 3 million electric cars each year… this figure alone show what it means when a Group like ours focuses all its energy on one goal.”

For comparison, last year, Tesla sold around 84,000 cars. It plans to sell 500,000 cars in 2018, and 1 million by 2020, although analysts are less sure.

Müller’s barely-concealed reference to Tesla during the Roadmap E presentation seemed deliberately punchy, showing that Volkswagen is now ready to fight back after spending the past few years apologising for the diesel emissions cheating scandal. Indeed, Müller made the claim after again referencing dieselgate: “We have got the message. And we will deliver!”. 

Another big VW breakthrough announced at the show is the target of offering at least one electrified version of every single car the Volkswagen Group sells. That’s around 300 individual models, wearing Volkswagen, Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Seat, Skoda and various other badges.

In other words, “Volkswagen will have electrified its entire model portfolio by 2030” – from the VW Up city car to the Porsche Mission E electric sports car.

Volkswagen will also bring over 80 electric models to market by 2025, with Müller happy to reveal the split: 50 full EVS and 30 plug-in hybrids.

VW Group is even working on future solid-state batteries, he added, which could have a range of 1,000km (620 miles) or more. “We plan to develop this future technology together with partners to market maturity.” 

Take that, Tesla: what’s your fightback?

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Richard Aucockhttps://www.motoringresearch.com/
Richard is director at Motoring Research. He has been with us since 2001, and has been a motoring journalist even longer. He won the IMCO Motoring Writer of the Future Award in 1996 and the acclaimed Sir William Lyons Award in 1998. Both awards are run by the Guild of Motoring Writers and Richard is currently chairman of the world's largest organisation for automotive media professionals. Richard is also a juror for World Car Awards and the UK juror for the AUTOBEST awards.

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