If VW is taking on Tesla in the EV market, this is a smart strategy.
After the disastrous Dieselgate scandal damaged its reputation seemingly beyond repair, Volkswagen wants to reinvent itself as a leading electric car manufacturer with the launch of its I.D. range. Concept EVs revealed so far include a hatchback known as the I.D. concept, the I.D. Buzz which is essentially an electrified Microbus, and the Crozz Crossover, which made its debut at this week’s Shanghai Auto Show. These are all concepts for now, but VW intends to start rolling out the I.D. range in 2020.
Of course, pricing of the final production models will ultimately determine VW’s success in the EV market, but Car Advice reports that they won't be much more expensive than their combustion engine counterparts. Speaking at the Shanghai Auto Show, Christian Senger, the head of Volkswagen’s electric car project, told reporters that the company had made “huge progress” in reducing production costs of its all-electric vehicles. “Offering our electric cars for prices similar to combustion engine vehicles really is a game changer,” said Senger. “We’re using the need to step from traditional combustion engine cars to reinvent the VW brand.”
As one of the leading electric car markets, China is at the forefront of VW’s strategy as the country combats its problems with air-pollution. Most manufacturers charge a premium for EV variants, so VW’s promise to bring affordable electric cars to the market seems like a smart strategy if the automaker is to compete with Tesla. With a starting price of $35,000 and a range expected to exceed 240 miles, the Tesla Model 3 is expected to be the car that will make EV cars more mainstream in the near future, so VW still has its work cut out to meet its target of selling one million EVs by 2025.