Earlier this week, Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess made one of the company’s biggest electrification claims when he stated that Volkswagen will not only be able to produce 50 million electric vehicles in the coming years, but that they will also be able to sell their vehicles at a much lower price than Tesla. While Diess’ claims might seem preposterous to some at first glance, this isn’t the first time the Volkswagen CEO has boasted about future production plans while taking shots at Tesla. Just last month, Diess predicted that future Volkswagen models would be just as good as Tesla’s for half the price by the year 2020. With the promise of producing 50 million electric vehicles, the Volkswagen CEO has arguably made his boldest claim yet.
In a recently released interview with Automotive News, Diess explained:
“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.”
When asked to comment on electric vehicle sales in the U.S., Diess added:
“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 continued on by stating that Volkswagen had already “booked production in its plants for 50 million full-electric cars.”
In order for Volkswagen to sell electric vehicles for as cheap as they claim, the automaker intends to take full advantage of their new MEB platform. With the MEB platform, Volkswagen will be able to dramatically reduce the production costs for electric vehicles utilizing those battery cells. According to Diess, the new platform will enable a 40 percent cost reduction while also being able to double the electric range of their vehicles.
While we’d love to get excited over Diess’ comments, Volkswagen has been making a lot of empty promises lately. At this point, we have to receive some concrete information to back up the automaker’s claims before we can see them toppling Tesla anytime soon. The recent announcement of a $21,000 ID series Volkswagen, however, is a step in the right direction.
Source: Automotive News