Volkswagen to join the electric car race and here is why Tesla should be worried

While the Wolfsburg-based carmaker, Volkswagen AG, isn't the first in the all-electric car race, it may have a slight advantage over Elon Musk's Tesla and here is why

By:July 9, 2017 12:10 PM
Volkswagen I.D Concept. Image for representation purpose only

Electric cars are the way to the future owing to alarmingly high emission levels globally and we all have been listening to similar things since the last few years. As of March 2016, the CO2 levels have reached over 403 PPM (Parts Per Million) and according to a recent study by MIT’s Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment, 53,000 deaths occur every year in the US alone due to tailpipe emissions. Carmakers hence are steadily shifting towards methods where an electric car can not just be affordable, but, can work in the future with proper infrastructure. Volkswagen Group has now announced that it will be rolling out four all-electric cars by 2023, the first one being the I.D Neo hatchback, which will commence sales in 2020. This is the same year where Tesla has committed to handing over a million of its electric vehicles. So, why is it that Volkswagen AG as a group or the parent carmaker isn’t worried about Tesla? In fact, Herbert Diess, Chairman, Volkswagen very fondly stated at the recently concluded Paris Motor Show, “We see Volkswagen as a company that can stop Tesla because we have abilities that Tesla does not have today.”

The reason for this bold statement is that Volkswagen as a group is far larger than the more popular (for now) electric car brand, Tesla. Under the Volkswagen AG group, the Wolfsburg-based company has brands like Audi, Skoda Auto, Bentley, Porsche and many other companies. Also, the production capacity of Volkswagen AG is much larger than Tesla. The claim by VW group is that it churns out more cars across all the brands it owns in two days that Tesla produced in 2016. So, Tesla should be worried unless they have plans to increase their production capacity, that too quickly. Also, while the Model 3 will cater to the sedan segments globally, Volkswagen’s first all-electric vehicle will be a hatchback, the I.D Neo. It will be priced similar to the diesel versions of the existing Golf and the aggressive price tag would make it more affordable with a range of 600 kms on a full charge.

Also Read: Tesla Model 3 poised to roll out on Friday, Model S fails in some IIHS crash tests

Other models from Volkswagen which would be introduced after the I.D Neo’s debut in 2020, will be the Crozz compact crossover, Lounge SUV and the Aero e sedan. All of them will be introduced by 2023, with most models sold globally, including China, VW’s largest market. All this sounds pretty good however VW has its own set of challenges which also include the dieselgate emissions scandal that happened two years ago. The company has spent a substantial sum of money ‘fixing’ this issue. This is apart of the recent global recall due to faulty braking issues and a software update that hindered with the braking systems like ABS not working properly. According to Herbert Diess, the challenges for Volkswagen AG are enormous and a lot of work needs to be done.

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