Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess has been talking some smack about going electric, and giving the big T some competition. In an interview with Automotive News, he threw out a figure of 50 million electric cars, and said VW will be able to offer “much lower” prices than Tesla.
According to AN, “VW has booked production in its plants for 50 million full-electric cars, Diess said, and has sourced the batteries to power those vehicles from three Asian companies: CATL in China and LG and Samsung in South Korea.”
Diess’s comments sound promising as far as they go, but they lack any time frame, and as Electrek’s Fred Lambert pointed out, it isn’t clear what he meant by “booking production.”
The company has announced a series of upcoming EVs based on its new MEB platform: the Golf-size I.D. is expected for model year 2020, to be followed by a sedan, a crossover and the I.D. Buzz electric microbus, which is slated for 2022.
Diess said the MEB platform will enable major cost reductions – the next-generation e-Golf will deliver “a 40-percent cost reduction, but a much better car: twice the range, bigger interior, but outside, still a compact car.”
“We will be very big in electric cars worldwide because we are very strong in China,” said Diess. “We have huge economies of scale, and we will bring those cars [to the US].”
“Sales are picking up,” he continued. “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.”