BUYING A VW EV?
Buying a VW EV? wattEV2buy explore VW EV models, sales and the latest news and unpack the Volkswagen electric car strategy.
The Dieselgate emission scandal forced the German Automaker, Volkswagen, to overhaul its business plan and accelerate its electric vehicle strategy. The new strategy announced in June 2016, named “TOGETHER-Strategy 2025,” ties all of the five brands in the Group to the roadmap. Key objectives of Strategy 2025 is efficiency, autonomous driving, mobility and electrification which would see the company significantly reduce the number of models it manufactures but at the same time introduce over 30 new electric models across Skoda, Porsche, Lamborghini, VW, SEAT, and Audi enter the market by 2025. New model ranges such as the VW XL3, a plug-in hybrid aimed at the Toyota Prius, is expected by 2020. VW plans to re-establish itself as a pioneer in the EV segment with pure electric model ranges such as the Phaeton luxury saloon. Achieving the goal set by Strategy 2025 would mean that plug-in vehicles would account for 25% of total annual sales by 2025 which is equal to three million battery vehicles per year.
With efficiency and cost saving in mind, production and design architecture is standardized on a multi-brand toolkit suitable for passenger and light commercial vehicles which will enable and an all-electric range of between 155 miles to 310 miles.
VW is bringing the Plug-In versions of existing models as compliance models to the Chinese market in 2018 when the country plans to introduce a ZEV mandate, the models will be the Tiguan L PHEV and Phideon PHEV. VW updates its EV strategy on September 11, 2017. The strategy, named ‘Roadmap E’ aims to have 80 electric vehicles by 2025, of which 50 would be all-electric models and the balance PHEVs.
VWs autonomous vehicle project is embodied as the I.D Pilot with a target date of 2025.
VW EV MODELS
VW EV CONCEPT MODELS
VW EV SALES
The sales data above show Volkswagen EV sales for 2017 in the top 10 EV markets. Go to our detailed breakdown of Global EV Sales to see how the VW electric car strategy fares to its competitors in the fast-growing EV market.
THE VW ELECTRIC CAR STRATEGY IN THE NEWS
2018 Week 29 - Trade wars forcing localized production
As it’s not enough for automakers to deal with mobility disruptions trade wars are ow playing havoc with their production planning and capital budgeting. In Week 28 we saw big auto companies, Tesla, BMW, and VW rushing to construct EV capacity in China to remain competitive. This week saw more production decision of electric cars influenced by the escalating trade war.
VW North-America CEO, Hinrich Woebcken told the UK based Autocar that the VW I.D Buzz and VW I.D. Crozz will be “Americanized” and produced locally. Mr. Woebcken was quoted saying, “It’s not possible to come into a high-volume scenario with imported cars. We want to localize electric mobility in the US.”
2018 Week 28 - European Automakers scramble for China
Volkswagen is positioning its SEAT brand in China. The German auto group, SEAT, and its Chinese partner JAC agreed that SEAT will acquire a shareholding by 2021 in the VW JAC JV at a signing in the presence of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. The three companies will set up an R&D center for developing electric vehicles, connectivity and autonomous driving technologies by 2021. The JV aims to develop its own BEV platform.
Volkswagens China activities did not stop here as it signed Memoranda of Understanding with FAW and the China Intelligent and Connected Vehicles Research Institute (ICV). The MOU’s will result in two JVs with FAW focusing on charging infrastructure and charging-related services, as well as intelligent and connected vehicle services. The ICV MOU sets an environment for the entities to jointly develop China-specific smart technologies and corresponding regulatory standards, in pursuit of greater connectivity and autonomous driving. Reports also emerged that Volkswagen is in talks to increase its stake in the 60/40 FAW/VW JV FAW-Volkswagen Automotive Co for which it has the blessing of the Chinese Government.
2018 Week 25 - VW ID R breaks record at Pies Peak
The Volkswagen ID R supercar set the fastest time at 2018 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in the US state of Colorado qualifying for the race this Sunday the 24th of June. The VW ID R set a time of 3:16.083 minutes, 11.049 seconds faster than the closest combustion vehicle. The time was achieved on the qualifying lap which is only 8.3km of the 19.99km course of the main event.
In the final lap on Sunday the 500kW VW ID R driven by Romain Dumas set a new course record of 7m 57.148s minutes beating the previous record set in 2013 by Sébastien Loeb’s by 16 seconds.
2018 Week 22 - VW readies for EV demand spike
VW and its Chinese partner FAW is developing three new plants in anticipation of increased demand for EVs in the Chinese market. The partnership made the announcement at the introduction of the Bora EV (Jetta EV) at the Qingdao plant. In total, the company plans to launch ten new energy vehicles by 2020 in the country, the first of which is the Bora EV and Tiguan PHEV this year. FAW-VW announced that it would build EV plants in Qingdao (Shandong), Tianjin, and Foshan (Guangdong) to add to capacity for its planned 1.5 million EVs per annum by 2025 from 40 new models. The additional three factories will compliment the existing Audi Q plant in Changchun (Jilin). The four plants exclude VW’s other plant in Hefei with partner JAC where production of the SOL 20X started this week. The Hefei plant has a capacity of 100,000 vehicles. VW is also partnered with SAIC in China.
In related news, VW announced that it is upskilling 100 engineers for the production of the I.D. EV series. The program is named the “Future Electronic Engineer Program” (FEEP) and aims to train the team especially for work with the modular electrification toolkit (MEB) which will be used to for 27 MEB models globally.
2018 Week 18 - VW targets China in a big way
VW expanded on its e-mobility plans last week at the 2018 Auto China in Beijing. CEO of Volkswagen Group, Dr. Herbert Diess announced that it would have six factories producing electric vehicles for its brands in China by 2021. Volkswagen Group China will spend €15 billion through 2022 to support People’s Mobility in China and launch 40 new energy vehicles in the country over the next eight years.
This week at the VW Group AGM it was announced that the Group had secured forward battery supply agreements of €40 billion ($48 billion), doubling the amount announced in March. To put VW’s EV strategy in perspective the value of the battery supply agreements is equal to Tesla’s market cap this week when it released its Q1 figures. Dr. Herbert Diess told shareholders at the VW AGM that the company plans to manufacture 3 million EVs per year by 2025.
2018 Week 11 - VWs "Roadmap E" goes global
Volkswagen CEO, Matthias Müller, this week expanded on the German automaker’s e-mobility program “Roadmap E.” At the Group’s Annual Media Conference in Berlin Müller announced the Group would assemble electric cars at 16 locations around the globe by 2022 as it accelerated its e-mobility plans over the last couple of months. The Volkswagen Group targets 3 million EV sale per year by 2025 from 80 new electric models across its various brands. Volkswagen Group will add to its current portfolio of 8 EVs in 2018 by bringing three pure electric cars and six plug-in hybrids to market by the end of the year. The program will pick up speed in 2019 when there will be a new electric vehicle “virtually every month” according to Müller.
Volkswagen’s huge investment in its electrification plans by no means mean that the company is turning its back on diesel-powered vehicles as it will invest €90 billion over the next five years in its conventional vehicle portfolio. Müller said, “We are making massive investments in the mobility of tomorrow, but without neglecting current technologies and vehicles that will continue to play an important role for decades to come.” The continued commitment to diesel goes against convention as its rival Toyota announced this week that it would phase out diesel engines from passenger cars in Europe from 2018.
Volkswagen’s commitment to diesel is underpinned by the company’s view that the technology produces only 80% carbon dioxide compared to that of gasoline vehicles. Auto manufacturers in the EU must lower their total fleet emissions by around 20% from 2016 levels to 95 grams CO²/km which Müller believes cant be done without including diesel.
VW also announced that it already agreed on partnerships to a value of €20 billion with European and Chinese battery manufacturers in support of it’s “Roadmap E” electrification program.
2018 Week 8 - VW ID Vizzion to be unveiled at Geneva Auto Show
VW will unveil its fourth I.D. series concept electric car, the I.D. Vizzion, which will provide a glimpse into how the company prepares itself for a self-driving future. VW will introduce its autonomous vehicles equipped with I.D. Pilot from 2025. The I.D. Vizzion is a seven-seat luxury MPV and has no steering wheel. For full specs, please see our dedicated page here.
2018 Week 5 - VW Zwickau plant to produce 1,500 EVs a day
Volkswagen Sachsen GmbH, a manufacturing subsidy of the Volkswagen brand with headquarters in the city Zwickau announced that it would be able to produce 1,500 EVs a day by the end of 2020 when the final phase of converting the plant which currently produces Lamborghini, Golf, Passat and previously Bentley models. The Zwickau plant will commence production of its first EVs in 2019 when the I.D. Crozz rolls off the assembly line. The Zwickau plant will produce EVs for VW, Seat and Audi brands.
2018 Week 1 - VW and Aurora enters into self-driving partnership
VW and Aurora announced its partnership at the CES 2018. The partnership will provide best-in-class expertise and experience bringing self-driving cars quickly, broadly and safely. Aurora is to support the Volkswagen Group to make their vision of the future ‘Mobility for all, at the push of a button’ become reality. The VW Self-driving System strategy according to VW Chief Digital Officer Johann Jungwirth:
“Our vision is ‘Mobility for all, at the push of a button’. This means that we want to offer mobility for all people around the world. Mobility also for children, elderly, sick and visually impaired people, really for all. ‘At the push of a button’ stands for simplicity and the easiness of use. In the future people can of course use our mobility app or digital virtual assistant to hail a self-driving electric vehicle to drive them conveniently door-to-door, or use our Volkswagen OneButton which has GPS, connectivity and a compass, as a small beautiful key fob with maximum convenience. Working with Aurora, leading self-driving system company, will give us a giant leap forward in our mission to become the world’s leading provider of sustainable mobility, with self-driving vehicles. Our aim is to create new Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) solutions which customers will be really passionate about because they have been tailored to the human with highest safety standards, best-in-class user experience and digital intelligence. For me this is the reinvention of mobility and the automobile.”
2017 Week 49 - VW Moia electric ridesharing bus
More and more automakers are taking the disruption in mobility caused by the tech sector serious and are developing alternative business plans to stay relevant in a future where we are free from car ownership and services are stacked on a mobile platform. The German Volkswagen Group newly acquired start-up Moia unveiled it’s six-seater electric ridesharing vehicle the Moia Concept at the Techcrunch 2017 in Berlin. The Moai was developed in only 10 months and is expected to be commercially available by the end of 2018. The rollout starting in Hamburg is aimed to reduce traffic congestion in cities through Moia’s “One million cars of the road” mission. The Moia ecosystem includes a mobile app which algorithm groups customers with similar destinations to optimise cost and trips on the road.
The car developed through a co-creation process with multiple rounds of potential customers of all demographics has a range of more than 300 kilometers according to WLTP-standard and can be charged up to 80 percent in about 30 minutes. The car was developed and designed exclusively for ride pooling services, with ample space and individual seating so that passengers who wish to have no contact with other passengers feel comfortable onboard.
2017 Week 48 - VW fails to secure cobalt
A UBS auto survey this week predicts that 16% of vehicles on the road in 2025 to be EVs. The forecast is up 2% from the previous estimated with 16.5 million of all cars sold in the middle of the next decade being electric. The report expects Europe to lead the adoption of EVs, where it is expected that EVs would constitute 30% of the total market. The UBS survey puts Tesla at the front of the race with BMW the biggest loser. In fact, most brands lost ground in the latest survey. The position on BMW confirms wattEV2buy’s analysis earlier the year of the German auto manufacturers EV strategy.
As the race in EV production hots up, manufacturers are rushing to secure the supply of rare resources such as cobalt which jumped from $10/lb in 2015 to around $30/lb recently. German manufacturers BMW and VW are stepping up efforts to secure the supply of the rare mineral of which 65% is mined in the volatile Democratic Republic of Congo. According to a Bloomberg report, BMW needs to determine its ability to supply materials before it decides on producing its own batteries. VW’s first talks with cobalt suppliers ended with no deal reached according to Reuters. VW invited Glencore, China’s Huayou Cobalt, commodity trader Traxys, U.S. miner Freeport-McMoran and Eurasian Resources Group (ERG) to its Wolfsburg headquarters in an attempt to secure supply of cobalt at a fixed price for its €34 billion EV plan announced in November 2017.
Read our report on cobalt and other minerals required for EV batteries.
2017 Week 46 - VW to invest €30 billion in EVs
VW Group announced in a press release that it would invest €34 billion in electric and autonomous vehicles by the end of 2022 in support of its Roadmap E strategy, the most comprehensive electrification campaign in the automotive industry. The plan will kick off with the shifting of the production of combustion vehicles away from its plant in Zwickau (Saxony, Germany) to allow for the increased production of electric vehicles on its MEB platform. Group CEO Matthias Müller said “We are reinventing the car. To achieve that, we are making targeted investments to provide the necessary funds from our own resources.”
According to Roadmap E around one in four new vehicles by VW Group will be a battery-only electric vehicle by 2025, which could mean up to three million e-cars a year. The Company is planning to electrify its entire model portfolio by 2030, which is more than 300 models. To this end, VW has invited tenders for one of the largest purchasing volumes ever, with plans to spend over €50 billion on battery cells.
2017 Week 46 - VW to invest €10 billion in Chinese EV market
The Chinese Governments aggressive program to support (enforce) the adoption of electric vehicles, or new energy vehicles (NEVs) as its locally known, is paying dividends. With the implementation of strict EV production and sales targets approaching in 2019 various companies, such as GM have in the last couple of months announced China-specific EV plans. The latest international automaker to announced its China EV strategy is the VW Group, who this week announced the investment of €10 billion ($11.8 billion) up to 2025 to develop and manufacture NEVs in China. Reuters reported this week that the German automaker aims to sell 400,000 new EVs by 2020 and 1.5 million by 2025 along with its joint venture partners. The company aims to bring fifteen NEVs with a range of up to 600km to the Chinese market by 2020 and a further 25 after that. Although VW Group currently has around ten imported NEV models available in China sales of most imports except for GM and Tesla have been very slow.
2017 Week 42 - VW unveils e-Delivery Truck
Volkswagen unveiled the e-Delivery electric distribution truck during the Innovation Day event in Hamburg this week. The-Delivery truck, which is to be assembled at Volkswagen Caminhões e Onibus in Brazil in 2020 is one of the results of the German company’s new focus on alternative drive platforms coupled with autonomy and connectivity. The Truck and Bus unit is also making significant progress in last mile EV solutions. Dr. Scholz, CEO of VW Commercial Vehicles said “The eCrafter is a high-performing van with a range of up to about 200 km. The vehicle will be shipped to selected customers by the end of 2017. The VW I.D. Buzz Cargo, a compact van that runs on electricity, is also being developed, its design and suitability for day-to-day life reminiscent of those of the classic VW Bulli.” The model is set to be launched in 2022.
Navistar, VW’s partner in the USA is also to use the new electric platform for distribution trucks from 2019. In Europe, MAN is said to start rolling out a test fleet of nine electric distribution trucks to customers in Austria as soon as the end of 2017, targeting retailers, brewers, and haulers. MAN will follow the test phase with a limited release of trucks from the end of 2018.
2017 Week 41 - VW to invest in electric trucks
Volkswagen also announced this week that it would invest €1.4 billion ($1.7 billion) in its truck and bus unit. The funding will go towards electric drive-trains, self-driving tech, and cloud-based systems. VW and its subsidiary, truck maker Navistar, aims to launch a medium-duty electric truck in the USA as early as 2019.
2017 Week 37 - VW updates its EV strategy
Volkswagen unveiled its electrification roadmap, ‘Roadmap E’ on the 11th of September. The comprehensive plan aims to have 80 electric vehicles by 2025, of which 50 would be all-electric models and the balance PHEVs.
2017 Week 37 - VW presents updated ID Crozz
2017 Week 27 - VW developing robots to charge EVs
VW and robotics firm Kuka this week signed a new co-operation agreement to develop robot-based innovations for all-electric and autonomous automobiles. The new agreement will expand the existing e-smart Connect project which includes a practical and user-friendly solution for charging high-voltage batteries of electric vehicles pictured here charging the VW GenE research vehicle. The Kuka developed charger is a charging solution developed for parking garages.
The Volkswagen Group is planning a strategic e-mobility offensive in the course of realigning its drive strategy. By the end of 2018, more than ten new electrified models will be launched on the market. A further 30 models will follow by 2025. These will be all-electric battery-powered vehicles. In parallel, Porsche will manage the ongoing expansion of infrastructure for quick-charging stations. The Volkswagen Group is providing a vision for autonomous driving of the future with the “Sedric” concept car. Audi recently established Autonomous Intelligent Driving GmbH for self-drive systems. This company is carrying out work for the entire Volkswagen Group.
KUKA AG is one of the biggest providers of intelligent automation solutions and is the world’s leading manufacturer of production plants in the automobile industry. The Group’s own Research Department headquartered in Augsburg lays the technological fundamentals for innovations in industrial production and service robotics.
2017 Week 26 - VW announce two more I.D. EVs
Up to now, news about VWs plans with its I.D. electric series have been sparse. The latest news on the VW I.D. strategy was about VW’s Chairman, Dr. Herbert Diess confirming the production of the I.D. Buzz. Dutch publication, Groen 7, this week provided a further glimpse of the VW strategy with the I.D EV model range which included two more models to join the three models already announced. VW will develop the I.D Lounge, an SUV and I.D AEROe, a sporty sedan exclusively for the US and Chinese markets. The I.D Lounge and I.D. AEROe will follow the I.D., I.D. Cross and I.D.Buzz models to hit the roads from 2019 to 2022. VW will produce the I.D. for the European market and the I.D. Cross for Europe and China. The market for the I.D.Buzz is yet to be defined.
All the I.D. models will be developed on VWs M.E.B platform. Golf replacement, the I.D. is expected in 2019 and promises a range of up to 600km from a 125kW electric motor. The last model in the range, the I.D. Buzz will have two electric motors with a combined output of 291kW and an acceleration of 0-100km/h in 5 seconds.
2017 Week 26 - VW JAC JV to launch EV SUV Jan 2018
The VW JAC electric vehicles joint venture signed in Berlin at the start of June 2017 officially kicked off in Hefei, Anhui Province on the 29th of June 2017. The Chinese JV company, JAC Volkswagen Automobile Co., Ltd. with an initial investment of 5.6 billion Yuan ($740 million) will deliver its first electric car in January 2018. According to reports the first EV from the JV will be a fully electric SUV.
2017 Week 25 - I.D. Buzz production confirmed
Audi announced that it will start producing the Audi e-tron Sportback EV at its Brussels plant from 2019 while VW’s Chairman, Dr. Herbert Diess confirmed that it will produce a version of the of the I.D. Buzz unveiled last year. The I.D. Buzz will join the I.D. Crozz in production and compete with Tesla‘s expected Type II people carrier.
2017 Week 16 - More Concept’s and a few production-ready vehicles at Shanghai Auto Show
The New York and Shanghai Auto Show’s provided many newsworthy releases related to electric vehicle strategies, concept cars, and some productions cars. Although the New York auto show had all thirty plus electric vehicles available for sale in the State on view, the Shanghai Auto Show was the place to be for electric vehicle enthusiast. The VW Group teased its Audi eTron SUV and VW I.D. CROZZ concepts, which is only expected by 2019. Tired of all these old auto companies releasing concept after the other without having real competition for the Tesla available? Two production-ready vehicles from newcomers Lucid Motors and NextEV‘s NIO brand were unveiled at the Chinese event. NIO’s ES8 seven-seater SUV is expected to be available in China by the end of the year. The company also announced that it would add ten more units to its fleet of six EP9 supercars, priced at $1.48 million.
2017 Week 8 - SEAT to unveil electric prototype
SEAT, the Volkswagen-owned auto manufacturer will display an electric vehicle prototype at this week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. The vehicle includes it’s Digital Access technology, replacing a key with a mobile phone. The first pilot will kick-off at its factory in Spain, using employees. Connectivity and the Internet of the Vehicle are bringing the world of mobile ever closer to the auto sector.
2017 Week 6 - VW creates $2Bln zero emission vehicle awareness program
Volkswagen USA announced the creation of a unit to channel $2 billion into zero emission vehicle awareness programs and charging infrastructure over the next decade. The commitment forms part of the Group’s settlement in the diesel emission cheating case, but ultimately the move is also in support of the company’s bold strategy shift to focus on electric vehicle technology. The unit named Electrify America, based in Virginia and will oversee the installation of 500 charging stations and a pilot Green City program.
2016 Week 51 - VW underperforms in consumer survey
Tesla voted the consumers darling in the Consumer Reports Annual Owner Satisfaction Survey with 91% Tesla owners responded with a “Definitely yes” when asked if they will buy the brand again. Second with only 84% was Porsche. The bottom quartile included brands such as Jeep, Nissan, Fiat, and Volkswagen, which dropped eight places. The survey included over 300,000 vehicles. Can the States who is refusing Tesla’s direct selling model, naysayers, and auto dealers refusing to get behind electric vehicles please respond to this?
2016 Week 47 - VW to build battery factory
In an effort to re-engineer itself after the emissions scandal, Volkswagen aggressively changed its strategy towards an electric vehicle future. Signs of the company’s EV plans emerged this week during a news briefing where the company and its unions agreed to the retrenchment of 30,000 employees. Reuters reported that VW CEO Matthias Mueller commented on the feasibility of the automaker building its own battery factory in the light that more than a quarter of its models would be electric, requiring more than 3 million batteries a year. It also emerged that a potential partnership between VW and UBER failed.
2016 Week 46 - Los Angeles Auto Show
The Los Angeles Auto Show ended up being quite exciting for the Electric Vehicle segment, boding well for the market, with various automakers unveiling new models. VW unveiled its Golf full-electric model and announced that it would be entering the market in 2017. The e-Golf achieves a range of 124 miles from its 35.8kWh battery. Mazda, who has been auspicious in its absence from the EV market announced that it would have various electric models by 2019. Hyundai announced that its changing direction away from hydrogen fuel cells to battery electric vehicles with 14 new alternative vehicles by in the US by 2020. The product mix will include four plug-in hybrids, four electric and one hydrogen fuel cell model. Jaguar unveiled its much anticipated full electric model, the I-Pace. The automaker’s first attempt is expected by 2018 and will have NEDC range of over 250 miles from a 90kWh battery and accelerate from 0 – 60mph in 4 seconds.
2016 Week 40 - Paris Auto Show
2016 Week 39 - Paris Auto Show
For the first time at an international auto show, electric vehicles took center stage at the Paris Auto Show this week, overshadowing new reports of Tesla autopilot crashes, refuted by the company. The prominence of electric vehicles at the show confirms the shift towards the segment. Most of the front-runners in the segment were presented there and used the opportunity to unveil new models, such as the Opel Ampera-e, which is the Chevrolet Bolt badged for the European market. VW unveiled its ID concept vehicle and Renault the Trezor.
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