Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess has made some rather bold claims regarding the future of the company since the infamous diesel scandal of 2015, but no claim has been as eyebrow-raising as this. Diess ambitiously asserts that future Volkswagen electric vehicles will be just as formidable as Tesla models at half the price by 2020.
Volkswagen has been investing a considerable amount of money into their electric vehicle plans as of late with the introduction of new factories designed from the ground up for electric vehicle production, and with Electrify America supplying electric chargers across the country.
While discussing the automaker’s future electrification plans, CEO Herbert Diess shared (translated from German via Electrek):
“Here we come very strong now. We have invested 30 billion in electromobility, we have already rededicated a plant in Zwickau, and we are building an electric vehicle plant in Shanghai. We will come in 2020 with vehicles that can do anything like Tesla and are cheaper by half.”
Despite Diess’ claims, no specific “Tesla killer” model has been revealed. When referencing future Volkswagen electric vehicles that can allegedly “do anything like Tesla” at half the price, we suspect that Diess may be referring to the Volkswagen I.D. models, which are due to release around the time frame mentioned in his statement. Volkswagen has touted for years that the I.D. line of electric vehicles, pictured above, would be able to beat Tesla in terms of range, but not much else is known about the vehicles’ performance details or specifications. Information regarding pricing for the I.D. models has yet to be revealed, but rumors have circulated surround a price around 25,000 euros (about $28,000), which certainly is not half of the Tesla Model 3’s $46,000 price tag.
Until we know for certain that Volkswagen can indeed produce electric vehicles with performance that can match or exceed that of a vehicle like the Tesla Model 3, Diess’ claims are just that—claims. With Volkswagen’s size and resources, they are arguably one of the few automakers equipped for the transition into the electric vehicle market, so Diess’ statements are not completely unfounded. For now, we’ll just have to wait and see if Volkswagen can truly deliver on their promises.