THIS IS VOLKSWAGEN’S €44BN ELECTRIC CAR PLAN
Tesla’s dominance over the global electric car market is about to disappear, as industry veterans like Volkswagen, BMW, Ford and General Motors enter the next stage of their slow shift from internal combustion to electrification.
Lacking the nimble size and startup dynamism of Tesla – and not to mention its bombastic billion of a chief executive – traditional carmakers have appeared to languish in a lower league for the last half-decade.
Meanwhile, Tesla first proved electric cars could work with the Roadster, they could be desirable and practical with the Model S and Model X, and, now, that they can even be an affordable mass-market success, with the Model 3.
But, while Tesla will no doubt continue to shine brightly (assuming Elon Musk can keep his prolific tweeting in check) with future vehicles like the Model Y, Tesla Semi, a pick-up truck, and the second-generation Roadster, giants like the Volkswagen Group are poised to overtake.
To quickly recap, the Volkswagen Group owns numerous automotive brands, including Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, SEAT, Skoda, and of course Volkswagen. The company was rocked and almost brought to its knees during the 2015 diesel emissions scandal, but is now on course to electrify its fleet on a scale the world is yet to see.
Electric cars, autonomous driving and mobility services
Speaking in late-November, VW Group chief executive Herbert Diess said €44 billion will be invested into new technologies over the next five years alone. This includes electric cars, autonomous driving, and mobility services like ride-sharing platforms; €30bn of that money will be spent on electric vehicles, equal to 50% of Tesla’s total value at the time of writing.
Volkswagen’s electric revolution will begin with the ID, a hatchback intended to be an electric answer to the company’s iconic Golf. This will be the first of several VW vehicles under the new ID brand, including the ID Buzz, an electric minivan reminiscent of those of the 1970s; the ID Crozz, a crossover SUV; and the ID Buzz Cargo, a commercial delivery van. These cornerstones of the ID range will arrive in dealerships between 2020 and 2022, with varying degrees of autonomous driving systems.