VW CEO confirms the group’s brands will introduce 20 new electric vehicles by the end of the decade

matthias-muller-volkswagen

The Volkswagen Group confirms this week that CEO Matthias Müller will introduce a new strategy for the company this summer and it will include plans to introduce 20 new electric vehicles through the group’s brands by the end of the decade.

Müller confirmed the news in somewhat of a confrontational manner.  He said:

“The automotive future should not be left to Silicon Valley.”

Likely referring to Tesla, Apple and several other Silicon Valley-based companies reportedly developing electric vehicles. The CEO asks European policy makers to encourage autonomous driving and electric mobility.

The 20 new vehicles with battery-powered or or plug-in hybrid drivetrains will be introduced by the group’s twelve brands, including VW, Audi and Porsche.

Audi’s first entry in the all-electric market is expected to be the quattro in 2018, while Porsche has the Mission E planned for the end of the decade.

As for Volkswagen, the brand unveiled its all-electric microbus concept at CES earlier this month. The concept featured the automaker’s new electric platform on which it hopes to bring vehicles to market.

Here’s the press release in full:

Volkswagen: Europe Needs to Lead with Electric Mobility

  • CEO Matthias Müller: Automotive future should not be left to Silicon Valley
  • Closer cooperation called for between industry and policy makers in expanding infrastructure and framework conditions
  • Volkswagen to have external and independent experts verify emission values of its vehicles in the future
  • Numerous EU parliamentarians visit company’s New Year’s reception in Brussels

The Volkswagen Group wants industrial companies and policy makers to work more closely on the future of mobility in the EU. Europe needs to take the technological lead in future areas of the automotive sector and work with policy makers to create the necessary framework conditions, demands Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller at the company’s traditional New Year reception in Brussels. Whether digitization, autonomous driving or electric mobility – Europe should set the course “also in terms of infrastructure and the right legislative framework,” Müller told the numerous honorary guests and EU parliamentarians. “We must not leave this playing field to Silicon Valley.”

The Volkswagen Group wants policy makers and the automotive industry to cooperate more closely on digital transformation and electric mobility. “The efforts of our industry alone won’t be enough. We need to work together to make sure that Europe remains innovative and competitive as an industrial location in a rapidly changing world,” Müller emphasized in his speech. “A true breakthrough for electric mobility will only be achieved if politics, society and authorities work together more closely.” He used the lack of infrastructure as an example: Europe desperately needs an extensive network of 150 kW rapid charging stations. Customer trust in e-mobility will only grow “if there is a visible, functioning infrastructure,” said Müller convinced.

The CEO promised that Volkswagen would concentrate on sustainability “more than ever before” and that would include the company’s products, strategy and management. He will present the new Strategy 2025 for the Group this summer. Among other things, the company’s brands will introduce about 20 additional models with electrical or plug-in hybrid drive trains by 2020, announced the CEO.

When looking at the emissions issue of the past few weeks, Müller explained to the EU parliamentarians in Brussels: “We are using the current crisis to fundamentally realign the Group. I strongly feel we now have the chance to build a new and better Volkswagen.”

The CEO emphasized that Europe’s largest automobile manufacturer would have the emission values of its vehicles checked and certified by external and independent inspectors in the future. The company vehicles will also be tested randomly under real driving conditions, Müller went on to explain: “We hope this will help to win back trust.”

He was convinced: “The industry-wide discrepancies between the official test results and actual consumption are no longer accepted and no longer acceptable. We need to break new ground here.”

The CEO stated that EU-wide, comprehensive technical solutions for the approximately 8.5 million vehicles have been agreed. The retrofitting will start this week. Customers can rely on Volkswagen, emphasized Müller in Brussels: “We will manage the recall in the most customer friendly and best possible way.”

The Volkswagen Group has twelve brands from seven European countries. Volkswagen has more than 440,000 employees at 72 locations in Europe. The Group is the largest industrial investor in many EU countries. Müller emphasized that Volkswagen remains dedicated to Europe as a development and production location: “Volkswagen believes in Europe. And I see it as our and my core duty to make sure that Europe can trust Volkswagen in the future.”

 

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Comments

  1. amp - 7 years ago

    A very interesting article, especially following the Daimler acknowledgement 2 days ago, the elephants have finally noticed the mouse in the corner and it now has them officially scared. I think that they are finally starting to see that the traditional ICE car paradigm is done. I have leased my last ICE car ever, and that is a hybrid. Although there are multiple players in the Valley, only one in that area is actually selling anything today, or anytime this decade in all likelihood, and that is Tesla.

    Instead of seeking help from government, how about just getting on with making the best automotive products today? It is not that legislation is not needed, it is, but that just sounds like an excuse to me, a bunch of whining. How is it that a company still considered as a relative startup and outsider in the car industry makes the best, quickest, safest and most efficient car of any car manufacturer in the world and the response from the giants is to ignore them, then doubt them, then ask for governments to help change the competitive environment in some way. An absolutely classic example of Thomas Kuhn’s ‘paradigm shift’ in the making.

    As for Europe needing a network of fast charging stations, the last time I looked there was one and the operator of that network was willing to share it, for a share of costs obviously. Once again, incumbents just not adapting to changing times and expecting someone else to take responsibility for this infrastructure rather than getting on with making it an asset and part of their business as Tesla has done.

    • R3D - 7 years ago

      I like Tesla but I have to disagree with you in some things. You wrote “… makes the best, quickest, safest and most efficient car of any car manufacturer in the world…”

      BEST: It’s purely a subjective term! For who? For a farmer on the dirt road? Or for a billionaire who likes to show up to his buddies and likes to take his cars to the race track? You simply cannot say it’s the best car for anyone! For me i could be but not with those many issues I’ve recently read about it.
      QUICKEST: Yes it accelerates pretty well… up to 140-150 kph (~80 mph). But above that it bleeds out. At 200 kph it accelerates much slower than its competitors. Even in the 0-100 kph interval there are some quicker cars. And in my opinion the best way to test how fast a car is if you compare them on race tracks. The 0-100 times are just numbers, but in the real life fastness many other things count, just like on the tracks. But on the other hand for an average weekend driver this pure acceleration is plenty and they are Tesla’s main target group.
      SAFEST: In this one I completely agree with you. Without doubt the Tesla has done a pretty good job on safety.
      MOST EFFICIENT: Actually this is the least efficient EV on the market. The most efficient EV is the i3. It needs roughly 2/3 of that energy that a Model S needs on the same distance. It’s not a surprise since it’s much lighter and I still don’t know why Tesla uses induction motors instead of permanent magnet motors. The former has many advantages over the induction motor. One of them is the efficiency, specially in low torque regions (which is when you travel with a constant speed, so most of the time). The only major disadvantage of the PM motor is its price, but it shouldn’t be a problem in the $100000 price range if a much cheaper Leaf or i3 can use it. So yes, it’s much better compared to the ICE dinosaurs, but in the EV world it’s always gonna be the last one – in terms of efficiency – if they stick to the induction motor. And if the battle begins…

      All I wanted to point out is just don’t be blind folded! Tesla makes great cars and I’m very happy of their success because at least they are accelerating this evolution in the automotive industry. But it’s not a perfect car, just like none of them are! It has it’s downsides just like the others have.

      And just one last thought:
      Many people ask in the comments “when will the other companies build their own fast charging network”. In my opinion: NEVER! They count on governments, electricity companies, etc. and not because they couldn’t (since they have much more money than Tesla has), but these 3rd party companies will build the charging network (all together they can build a much bigger than the SC network) until the EV market will run up. So why would they build their own? The fact is the entire EV market is just dust on a mountain yet. These big automakers are not really interested in EVs (yet again). Tesla sold 50000 car last year and it’s the biggest EV manufacturer. Now compare it to BMW’s 2 millions in last year. Or the entire VW empire’s sale number must be tens of millions annually. Do you think it matters for them if they had Tesla’s all sales??? Definitely no! But believe me, they know the times are changing and they are already preparing for the new era.

      • quiviran - 7 years ago

        “I still don’t know why Tesla uses induction motors instead of permanent magnet motors”

        This might give some insight into Teslas thinking. https://www.teslamotors.com/blog/induction-versus-dc-brushless-motors

        You make several good points. I totally concur that there is no need for a nation-wide (or world-wide) series of competing manufacturer-specific fast charging networks. What is called for is standards and common operability. Each manufacturer may have different charging needs, perhaps due to different battery designs, but they can keep that on the car side of the charging station. The ground side of the charging interface can be a standard.

  2. Less hipocracy - 7 years ago

    Agreed with Amp. This is just a VW lip service BS to wait out the current emmission manipulation storm. How gratious of VW “give us, pay us, do for us, protect from others – and we shall do (bare minimum)! ” Typical of big companies esspecially in EU. And they wonder why we all want to go to US.

  3. nonni55 - 7 years ago

    Finally, finally VW is getting it….Coming from the DIESEL “dark-ages” – VW desperately need to be on the right side of history. GO FULLY ELECTRIC and do what they did best – make beautiful cars for the masses…..(TESLA will serve the upper class)

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