• Mar 24, 2014
Volkswagen AG is in the middle of implementing a comprehensive electric vehicle strategy, one that we've been documenting for a long time. The Group stands ready to offer dozens of plug-in vehicles in the coming years if it feels there is sufficient demand and believes that selling a million EVs in Germany by 2020 is reasonable. That would be a solid number, but remember that VW sold over 5,923,000 passenger cars around the world last year, and the group as a whole sold over 9.7 million.

At the company's annual Media Conference and Investor Conference in Berlin recently, the chairman of the board of VW AG - surrounded by some decidedly non-green examples of the VW Group's vehicles (some absurd new Bugatti, for example) - took some time to put the company's EV plans into focus. The upshot is that Dr. Martin Winterkorn is still guiding his electromobility ship into new waters, saying that "many more [plug-in] models will follow."

Winterkorn said there are three main reasons he is confident in the ability of VW (and Audi and Porsche, at the very least) to push EV sales upward. Batteries are getting better, he said, and if the ranges can be extended, then customers are happy. But the real secret lies in reducing component costs. He said (as translated):

It is important to look at the cost of the components: the battery technology, the electric motor and the electric components. Whenever you go into volume production, you of course have economies of scale. In two to three years' time, if we are able to achieve the goals we are setting for ourselves with cost and reach sufficient volume, I do believe that we can achieve two to three percent [market share] within VW Group. So, hitting a million EVs by 2020 is reachable.

With the e-Golf and the e-Up off to excellent sales starts, we're willing to be confident as well.


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  • 17 Comments
      FREEPAT75014
      • 9 Months Ago
      He should start, along with other German friends, to INSTANLY move his 1st Plug in Hybrids from ridiculous < 10KWH battery capacity to at least same 25 to 30KWH as in the far cheaper all EV little cars already available. < 10KWH to make my # 60 Miles local commutes I would need at least 2 x charges per day, means need for one charger in my home car park and another one at my work carpark, and be always plugged on both sides. This is just UN-ACCEPTABLE and UN-PRACTICAL, sorry, no way. With 25-30KWH I would only need one charge every night, which would still be a lot, but a lot more practical to secure every day... I don't understand that on larger SUV FormFactors like Porsche Cayenne or Macan, or Audi Q5...etc they don't put a DECENT battery right on day 1. This is another waste of one year !
        GSP
        • 8 Months Ago
        @FREEPAT75014
        Why would charging every night be "a lot?" Isn't it normal for EVs and PHEVs to plug in every night, and leave every morning with a full battery (and pre-warmed cabin)? This is what I do with my Volt. GSP
        Joeviocoe
        • 9 Months Ago
        @FREEPAT75014
        60 mile commutes are NOT "Local". They are fairly uncommon. The Volt does just fine supporting a 30 - 40 mile commute with a battery with about 11 kwh of usable energy.
          FREEPAT75014
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          This is my average, all completed around Paris area. People who justify Mid-Range or High end German cars >€60K price have higher than average needs, by nature. Others buy far cheaper cars...
        paulwesterberg
        • 9 Months Ago
        @FREEPAT75014
        Just wait 4 years then they will upgrade the battery and sell you a new car with a battery that is still undersized.
      NestT
      • 9 Months Ago
      VW Group sold 9.7 Million cars worldwide in 2013. VW Brand sold 5.9 Million cars worldwide in 2013 3% of VW Group is not even 300k Tesla plans on selling at least 350k Model E by 2020.
      NestT
      • 9 Months Ago
      VW Group sold 9.7 Million cars worldwide in 2013. VW Brand sold 5.9 Million cars worldwide in 2013 3% of VW Group is not even 300k Tesla plans on selling at least 350k Model E by 2020.
      Spec
      • 9 Months Ago
      It is a good point . . . once components are made in the millions, all the chargers, motors, controllers, battery managers, and batteries should drop in price.
      itsme38269
      • 9 Months Ago
      Great, now make one already.
      CaptTesla
      • 9 Months Ago
      The question that needs to asked of companies like VW, Mercedes, ford, etc.. Is what are they going to do to make driving long distance possible? Tesla has their supercharger network and will be light years ahead of everyone else. Other companies are not going to invest in such an infrastructure for 2-3% of their car production, making their EV's still just city cars.
        • 8 Months Ago
        @CaptTesla
        I think the EU will find a better alternative like legislating that all gas stations have equipment to charge electric cars and standardize the whole infrastructure. The current approach where every EV manufacturer has to build its own charging infrastructure that is not compatible with the others is nuts.
        Fernsemer
        • 8 Months Ago
        @CaptTesla
        Obviously it's a question of both battery size and charging infrastructure. I personally think that when the installed battery in an EV is at least 40Kwh for an 140 mile range or better ,,, that and with the availablity of level 3 chargers along well traveled routes ,,, which could start at the car dealers ,,, then then we'll see the popularity of EV's surge ahead.
      Electron
      • 9 Months Ago
      No that long ago it was perfectly normal for a VAG executive to call the Volt a "car for idiots" and now look how VW has reinvented itself. It's amazing how increasingly stringent emission mandates will have that effect.
      NestT
      • 9 Months Ago
      VW Group sold 9.7 Million cars worldwide in 2013. VW Brand sold 5.9 Million cars worldwide in 2013 3% of VW Group is not even 300k Tesla plans on selling at least 350k Model E by 2020.
      CaptTesla
      • 9 Months Ago
      The question that needs to asked of companies like VW, Mercedes, ford, etc.. Is what are they going to do to make driving long distance possible? Tesla has their supercharger network and will be light years ahead of everyone else. Other companies are not going to invest in such an infrastructure for 2-3% of their car production, making their EV's still just city cars.
      aatheus
      • 8 Months Ago
      Hey VW, please bring the e-Golf to car sharing schemes like Car2Go or DriveNow. Maybe partner with BMW on that. It will do well in Berlin and other cities like it.
      NestT
      • 9 Months Ago
      VW Group sold 9.7 Million cars worldwide in 2013. VW Brand sold 5.9 Million cars worldwide in 2013 3% of VW Group is not even 300k Tesla plans on selling at least 350k Model E by 2020.
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