Germany's Volkswagen Group, which with its more than a dozen marques is the world's largest automaker by sales, has laid out a plan that will brush aside Tesla Inc. and other electric vehicle (EV) makers so it can dominate tomorrow's vast EV market.
The Volkswagen Group yesterday announced it now intends to build 22 million EVs across its brands by 2028, a huge 47 percent jump from its previous estimate of 15 million. In addition, VW said it will also begin producing its own batteries for this mammoth number of EVs, as well as selling these batteries to other European EV makers.
And in another blockbuster announcement, VW said it will increase the number of new EV models it plans to build over the next decade to 70 from 50. These models will likely be based on its current MEB platform ("Modularer E-Antriebs-Baukasten"). MEB is a modular car platform for electric cars developed by Volkswagen and its subsidiaries.
As initially planned, MEB wll be used in Audi, SEAT, Škoda and Volkswagen models. VW said its MEB architecture aims to "consolidate electronic controls and reduce the number of microprocessors, advance the application of new driver-assistance technology and somewhat alter the way cars are built."
The MEB platform is part of a broader VW strategy to start production of new battery electric vehicles (BEVs) between 2019 and 2025. In 2017, the VW Group announced a gradual transition from combustion engine to BEVs. All 300 models across 12 brands should have an electric version by 2030.
Volkswagen last week said it was opening its MEB to other carmakers ass originally planned. It describes MEB, which was developed specifically for electric vehicles, as the "heart" of its "electric offensive."
Despite Volkswagen's ambitious plans, analysts still think the German company can't beat leading EV makers, Tesla.
According to New Street Research analyst Pierre Ferragu, the Elon Musk-led company is at least a decade ahead of the other EV brands, especially tradional auto makers. The company also leads in "power electronics and batteries."
Ferragu even rates Tesla's stock the highest on Wall Street with a Buy with a price of $530. This should make Musk and Tesla investors sleep better at night.
The Volkswagen Group includes Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Ducati, Lamborghini, MAN, Porsche, Scania, Seat, Skoda, Volkswagen and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. It sold a record 10.8 million cars in 2018, but only 40,000 of those were EV, and only 60,000 were plug-in hybrids.
One of VW's EVs is the Volkswagen I.D. based on the MEB platform, and part of the I.D. Series.
This article was first published in IBTimes US. Permission required for reproduction.