Earlier this month, Volkswagen Group placed an order for $64bn worth of lithium-ion batteries, for use in its growing range of electric vehicles, including those released by Volkswagen themselves and other brands within the Volkswagen group. This was more than double the expected value of the order and represents something approaching the market value of EV pioneers, Tesla.
A Shrewd Move from Volkswagen Group
This is an enormous step for Volkswagen, although perhaps not an unexpected one. The manufacturers have been very clear on their plans for the EV market, and have demonstrated their intent to be the dominant force in Europe and across the world as the electric vehicle wave continues to gather momentum.
The group’s new CEO, Herbert Diess, has been vocal in his support for electric vehicles. At Volkswagen’s General Meeting at the beginning of May, he described how the group expects to sell three million pure electric vehicles each year by 2025.
Audi – one of the Volkswagen Group’s primary brands along with Porsche, Scoda, and SEAT among others – has already released their own projections for 2025, and these seem to be in line with the plans of its parent group. Audi said that they aim to be selling 800,000 electric vehicles by 2025, although this figure includes projected hybrid vehicle sales.
Shifting Attitudes to Electric Vehicles
Volkswagen Group’s move is the latest in a series of exciting milestones for electric vehicles. It is not so long ago that EVs – particularly all-electric vehicles – were considered the ‘also-rans’ of the automotive world; novelty cars which were simply pale imitations of their petrol- and diesel-hungry cousins. This has changed.
Automotive consumers, once preferring to pour their dollars into an internal combustion engine, are now having their heads turned by the power, efficiency, and reliability of modern all-electric vehicles. Perhaps tired of the consistent feeling of being a little ripped off at the pump, maybe recognising the need for social change in the face of global environmental issues, slowly but surely these consumers are joining the EV movement.
What’s Next from VW Group?
So, Volkswagen Group has shown that they are serious about taking the electric vehicle market on, and have demonstrated their long-term plans, but what does this move mean in the short term? What sort of electric vehicles will the group’s newly acquired lithium-ion batteries be powering?
One of the vehicles which have already been slated for release is the Audi e-tron. The crossover sports utility vehicle will be hitting dealerships in August 2018, and it promises to be one of the paciest and rangiest vehicles in its class.
A full charge will provide users with 500km of driving, while the powertrain will be able to zip the vehicle past 100kph in just over four and a half seconds, topping out at over 210kph. This is thanks to the economical but powerful dual-motor setup which can churn out 320kW of power and 800Nm of torque. In the electric sports utility market, only the Jaguar I-Pace can really compete with this, although the upcoming Mercedes Benz EQC and BMW iX3 will have something to say about this.
Porsche Mission E
The Volkswagen Group of companies covers a diverse range of different vehicle classes, so it is no surprise that they are keen to be at the top of the tree in all possible markets. The Porsche Mission E is their upcoming latest entry into the sports car class, and the electric vehicle promises to push the boundaries of a dynamic field.
Drivers of the Mission E can expect to hit the 100kph mark in less than 3.5 seconds as the expected 447kW motor works its magic on the vehicle’s slight frame. Some nifty engineering and a commitment to ultra-lightweight materials should push the Mission E’s range beyond even that of the Audi e-tron, although how much further remains to be seen.
Porsche have also been experimenting with innovative charging technology, which is reported to be able to achieve an 80 percent charge in only a quarter of an hour. Sports cars are not known for being practical, but perhaps this is where Porsche hopes to test the limits of what is possible.
Under Volkswagen’s own famous banner, the Golf hatchback looks destined to be the first of VW’s ID electric vehicles range when it is launched in 2020. The ID family of electric vehicles has been described as ‘extreme’ by the manufacturers and represents a conceptual shift for VW Group as they seek to cement their position at the forefront of the European electric vehicle market. Following hot on the heels of the VW Golf will be an all-electric people carrier, another SUV, and much more to excite fans of the prestigious German brand.
These are exciting times for the electric vehicle market, and Volkswagen’s enormous, $64bn statement of intent has done nothing to quell the flames of interest in these revolutionary auto concepts.
Which of the Volkswagen Group’s upcoming models are you most excited about? What are you expecting from the ID range? Don’t forget to let us know, and feel free to get in touch for information and guidance on the latest developments in the EV market.
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