Volkswagen started its push into electrification relatively late following the costly Dieselgate debacle, but company boss Herbert Diess thinks it can still take the game to US electric car maker, Tesla, according to a Bloomberg report.
“We see Volkswagen as the company that can stop Tesla, because we have abilities Tesla doesn’t have today,” Diess said, and what Volkswagen lacks in first-mover advantage, it can compensate in global scale and manufacturing expertise, he added. Having claimed the title of world’s largest automaker from Toyota last year, the next aim is to make electric vehicles more accessible to mass-market buyers, Diess said.
The Wolfsburg-based automaker has in recent weeks signed off on the final design for the first of its pure EV I.D. models, called the Neo. The all-electric hatchback is said to be targeted at the European market in a price range similar to the diesel Golf’s, and is tipped to have a range of up to 600 km on a full charge.
Later on, VW’s push for electrification will continue with models such as the Crozz, which is said to go on sale worldwide in 2023 including their largest market, China. This will be complemented by a larger model, the Lounge, which boasts of a longer wheelbase and more cabin room for the US market.
More manufacturers are focusing their efforts on electrification, particularly with new legislation in Europe; the French government is set to ban sales of petrol and diesel-powered vehicles by 2040. Norway has set a similar goal for 2025, while Germany has proposed a 2030 target and, more ambitiously, India as well.
On the automaker front, Volvo has announced that all of its cars will be of at least hybrid electrification from 2019, while Tesla is projecting sales of 20,000 Model 3s every month from December, as it ramps up production; BMW meanwhile is set to launch its i8 Roadster next year.