Electric cars generally brings Tesla to mind, but Volkswagen is gearing up to give Tesla a tough competition. Herbert Diess, CEO of the German automaker, claims that they are capable of producing 50 million electric cars which will be ‘cheaper’ than Tesla.
He claimed that VW has already booked production in its plants for 50 million full-electric cars and it will be in the market in the next few years, although the number of years is unknown.
“Now we’re coming into an age where electric cars will play a major role. We will be very big in electric cars worldwide because we are very strong in China. We have huge economies of scale, and we will bring those cars here” to the U.S” he told Automotive News in a recent interview.
The company reported that they have issued battery supply contracts worth $48 billion with existing battery manufacturers. These contracts went to CATL in China, and LG Chem and Samsung SDI in South Korea.
The new MEB platform for car manufacture by VW will reduce the cost of the vehicle significantly. “A 40 percent cost reduction, but a much better car; twice the range, bigger interior, but outside, still a compact car” Diess claimed.
There’s the I.D., which is a Golf-sized vehicle, expected to be their first mass-market EV for the model year 2020. VW also unveiled the I.D. VIZZION sedan, a crossover all-electric I.D. CROZZ Concept, and then there’s the I.D. BUZZ electric microbus coming in 2022. VW also plans to develop the all-electric microbus and the crossover in the US.
“Sales are picking up. It’s not all over the place, but West Coast, if you go to a parking lot, you see already a decent mix of electric cars there. Most of them are probably Teslas, but what’s happening now is that the cars become so much better. We will be aggressive on the pricing. We will be much lower than Tesla, but we have all the huge economies of scale and the car is specifically designed now for battery power instead of being converted from a combustion powertrain.” Diess commented.
The big talks from world’s biggest automaker is always appreciated but the to deliver on the words, is still remains to be seen. Competing with Tesla will require some serious efforts from VW, especially after the ‘Dieselgate’ scandal.
Tesla sits on the throne of electric vehicles sales with securing three of the four spots for the best selling electric cars. The Model 3 was the best-selling electric car in the US during the third quarter of 2018, and the fifth-best selling sedan overall.