Autos

VW Accelerates Electric Vehicle Outlook

In September, Volkswagen introduced its new all-electric ID.3 sedan, along with a plan to have the car on the road by the summer of 2020. The announced goal for the ID.3 and the other electrified vehicles in VW’s stable was to produce a million electric cars by the end of 2025.

On Friday, VW said it has pulled that target in and expects to produce 1.0 million electric vehicles by 2023 and 1.5 million by 2025.

The ID.3 is based on Volkswagen’s Modular Electric Drive Toolkit (MEB) and offers ranges from 330 to 550 kilometers (about 200 to 340 miles). The basic version of the ID.3 will cost less than €30,000 (about $33,500). VW also offered pre-booking for the ID.3. To date, over 37,000 customers have reserved an ID.3 and paid a pre-booking deposit, according to the company.

Thomas Ulbrich, a member of the Volkswagen brand Board of Management responsible for VW’s E-Mobility initiative, commented:

2020 will be a key year for the transformation of Volkswagen. With the market launch of the ID.3 and other attractive models in the ID. family, our electric offensive will also become visible on the roads. Our new overall plan for 1.5 electric cars in 2025 shows that people want climate-friendly individual mobility – and we are making it affordable for millions of people.

VW has announced an investment program in electric vehicles totaling around $36 billion. On Thursday, the company announced a mobile charging system that uses robots to deliver a mobile storage device to a parked car, connects the device to the car, leaves to deliver another device to another vehicle, and returns once the mobile storage device has finished charging the first car to haul the charger away. Here’s a demo of how the system works in a parking garage.

VW and its European dealers plan to install 36,000 of the mobile charging points throughout Europe by 2025 and most will be publicly accessible. The company is also launching its own home charger for its ID-series of vehicles and installing 400 fast-charges on major European highways.

The company has also opened its modular drive system, the MEB, to other carmakers. Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) will use the MEB to build and sell vehicles in Europe. VW expects to begin delivering the MEB platform in 2023 and to sell more than 600,000 MEB-based vehicles within six years. Ford will be among, the first automakers, if not the first, to build vehicles on the MEB platform.

VW said it plans to introduce its all-electric ID. CROZZ SUV in 2020 and will begin production of the new model later in the year. A second VW electric vehicle manufacturing plant based on the MEB platform is also scheduled to open in China next year.

Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) last month announced plans to build a fourth Gigafactory in Germany beginning next year with finished vehicles rolling off the line in 2021. Tesla is expected to build its Model Y crossover vehicle at the plant with an annual production goal of 150,000 vehicles a year. Tesla’s third Gigafactory already has begun building cars in China, less than a year after the company broke ground.