Volkswagen CEO Has Bad News About Future EVs

Electric Vehicles / 2 Comments

The electric revolution might not be as speedy as we thought.

Earlier this week, Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess spoke at the Financial Times' Future of the Car summit. Fittingly Diess spoke about EVs like the ID. Buzz and ID. 4. He also set out some plans for the Volkswagen Group as a whole. The massive auto conglomerate has high-end brands like Porsche, Bugatti, and Lamborghini under its umbrella. Those plans mean that around 8% of the VW Group's sales are set to be electric this year, with 25% of sales set to be electric by 2025.

From there, the numbers only go up. Diess wants 50-60% of VAG's sales to be electric by 2030. It's an aggressive plan and relies heavily on the electrification of all of Volkswagen's brands. However, Diess was also quick to point out some of the current struggles we face with electrification.

Herbert Diess/LinkedIn
Herbert Diess/LinkedIn
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Diess stated at the conference that everything the group's brands will need for growth will be there, but that "it takes huge investment and time to achieve." VAG effectively shift from building one type of car to something categorically new, which it has only done piecemeal up until recently. The VW boss also said that those plans are already in motion. Billions of dollars have been put into modernizing Volkswagen EV and combustion car production already.

Herr Diess also pointed out that infrastructure for electric cars isn't where it needs to be just yet. He says that VW's customers need to be put in a place where they feel comfortable living with an electric vehicle like an ID. 4. The CEO went on to say that he's aware of the challenges before the VAG: "We have a very ambitious plan to achieve that and have invested hugely to achieve it, but some analysts aren't taking the amount of effort required to achieve our goals seriously enough."

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Diess also spoke on Tesla, acknowledging that Musk is the group's largest competitor right now, at least in the US. He says he didn't expect Tesla to accelerate at the pace it did and noted that sales figures between the group and Tesla are tighter than he'd like. However, Diess also says the VAG has numbers on its side and an ace up its sleeve.

"We have a new generation of batteries; aside from the raw material price rises, now our costs are coming down with scale." That means more VW EVs in the near future, for less cash, and with more range. All of those things could spell trouble for Tesla, but we'll have to wait to find out if that's the case.

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