VW is planning a “massive” switch to the US EV program
Volkswagen will “massively realign” its electric car plans for the US, said a senior company representative in response to President Joe Biden’s attempt to boost sales of electric vehicles.
The announcement reflects the movements of other manufacturers, including Polestar, the battery-car spin-off from Volvo, said it will produce its next model at a South Carolina facility instead of importing it from China. General Motors, Ford, and others have stepped up their own plans since the president tabled an infrastructure bill calling for $ 174 billion to accelerate the U.S. battery car market.
So far, VW planned to sell just three battery-electric vehicles in the US, including the recently launched ID.4 and another model yet to be identified. Both were to be assembled after the expansion of the Chattanooga, Tennessee plant. Well, it seems, more US showroom BEVs will be in the pipeline.
The automaker is working on changing its BEV strategy and will “massively realign it,” said the head of product development at the Volkswagen brand, Thomas Ulbrich, to reporters in Munich.
Comprehensive EV plans
The parent company Volkswagen has presented and announced the most extensive BEV program in the industry to date it will spend $ 86 billion Bring at least 70 fully electric models to market by the end of the decade. This strategy encompasses all of its dozen car brands, including high-line brands like Porsche, Lamborghini, Audi and Bentley, as well as mainstream brands Seat and Skoda. The greatest commitment, however, was with the flagship brand Volkswagen.
It already has a number of BEVs in or ready for production, including the ID.4, which is now solid in the U.S., but others weren’t planned to come here, including the smaller ID.3 hatchback that was made in more than a year ago Europe came on the market. and the large ID.6 that was recently unveiled in China. Other models will soon follow, including the ID5 crossover
VW’s exposure to the US BEV market has been relatively limited. It started with the ID.4 crossover is currently imported from Europe. When the expansion of the Chattanooga facility is completed next year, production will be relocated there. A second model is to be added there. VW also plans to import the ID.Buzz, a modern, all-electric version of its classic Microbus that will be assembled in Mexico.
Exactly how much VW’s BEV presence in the US market will expand as a result of the realignment is uncertain, but the automaker has a significant chance of importing or building products locally. It also offers considerable flexibility in the models it could offer. The majority of the mainstream BEVs it develops will use a skateboard-like architecture called an MEB. It places batteries and motors under the loading area and enables a multitude of different drive train layouts and body variants.
VW can also fall back on other high-line architectures that were developed for brands such as Porsche and Audi.
Bidens carrot-and-whip approach
The obvious move to expand the US supply of battery electric cars appears to be tied to the Biden government’s drive for a greener auto industry. Many analysts now predict that BEVs will make up 30% of the American market by 2030, down from less than 3% today. Ford CEO Farley has suggested it could hit 40%.
Extended federal tax credits could help, and a bill now going through the US Senate would Increase in current incentive from $ 7,500 to up to $ 12,500 – although a vehicle would have to be built domestically and by union workers to receive the full payout. The White House is also looking for new money to support manufacturers who make batteries and vehicles in the United States
According to analysts, improved technology should also help. VW is now working on batteries that could enable a range of up to 453 miles and faster charging, said Andreas Krüger, VW chief for electric mobility.
During a press conference in Munich, representatives of the company outlined plans for new products, which include the AeroB electric station wagon and a Tesla fighter code-named Trinity. That model, they said, will make Volkswagen compete more directly against the US EV company as it prepares to open its first plant. The Berlin plant is barely an hour’s drive from VW headquarters and its largest assembly plant in Wolfsburg.