VW will have an electric or plug-in version of every car it sells.
Like Volvo and Jaguar Land Rover, VW Group is pledging to have an electric version of each of its new models available; it is not promising that it will build only electric and hybrid vehicles. But the 12 brands under the VW Group umbrella collectively sell many more cars than either Sweden’s Volvo or Britain’s Jag, so we are still talking about an awful lot of EVs.
In fact, Müller says there will be 80 new electric vehicles by 2030, plus 30 plug-in hybrids and 50 battery EVs. Expect to see an EV in every segment—electric supercars from Lamborghini and EV superminis from Seat—as well as EVs for sale in every one of VW Group’s markets around the world.
Doing that is going to require plenty of batteries. The company is looking for partners in the US, Europe, and China to build gigafactories, and VW Group has consolidated all of its battery R&D work at a center of excellence in Salzgitter, Germany. Müller also said VW plans to bring solid-state batteries with 600-mile (1000km) range to market by 2030.
Audi and Porsche both had EVs in the works well before VW Group’s longtime investment in diesel turned toxic. But that scandal certainly accelerated plans for a group-wide Modular Electric Toolkit—known as the MEB platform. This common architecture will be the starting point for a multitude of new EVs from VW Group brands, starting with a trio from Volkswagen: the I.D., the I.D. Buzz, and I.D. Crozz.
We’ll get the first of these in 2020, when the I.D. and the I.D. Crozz go on sale. The former is roughly Golf-sized and will compete with the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3. The I.D. Crozz was revealed to the public for the first time on Monday. It’s an electric crossover, a twin-motor design with 225kW (300hp). VW says the car will still handle like a GTI and its battery can be charged to 80 percent in 30 minutes. Range is quoted as being 310 miles (500km) on the NEDC cycle.
These cars are not going convince people; they’re going to enthrall them.
Müller said that making exciting cars is the key to getting customers to switch to electric propulsion, and the model we think most likely to do that arrives in 2022. Few concept cars of late have stirred as much enthusiasm among the general public as the I.D. Buzz, and the production version of VW’s electric microbus will be on sale in five years. I don’t know if the levitating gnome will survive the focus groups, though.
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