Volkswagen plans to be the leader of electric cars by 2025.
They announced a new vision called TOGETHER 2025+, which promises electric cars and a digital network by 2025. Their stated goal is to make automobiles that are “clean, quiet, intelligent, and safe.” And ultimately be “part of the solution when it comes to climate and environmental protection.”
This massive project tells us a lot about the future of the auto industry.
What Are Electric Cars?
As their name suggests, electric cars are automobiles that run on electricity, rather than gasoline. They use an electric motor, which is powered by rechargeable batteries.
Some cars use both sources of power, which are called hybrids.
To manufacture electric cars, Volkswagen will have to repurpose their factories, implement new technologies, and use different designs.
A few factors prompted Volkswagen to take this direction, but their emissions-cheating scandal was probably the biggest influence.
In 2015, The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) accused Volkswagen of creating cars that cheated emission standards.
Specifically, Volkswagen created software that detected when their cars were analyzed by emissions testing. The software would enable emission controls to “pass” the testing.
But during normal driving conditions, the software would shut off. This gave cars more power and fuel economy, but resulted in more pollution than the law allowed.
Since then, Volkswagen admitted to installing the software in about 11 million cars and publicly apologized for the practice. However, the day after the news broke, their stock price declined 20%, then fell another 17% the following day.
In 2017, Volkswagen pleaded guilty and agreed to pay $4.3 billion in penalties. A week later, executives were charged.
In response to their scandal, Volkswagen changed their logo to a white variation on June 5, 2019. In a TV commercial, Volkswagen acknowledged their mistake and announced their launch into electric vehicles.
Their PR strategy is to demonstrate a dramatic change for the good, using the tagline “In the darkness, we found the light.”
Volkswagen’s Announces the I.D. Series
In 2016, brand chief Herbert Diess said, “By 2025, we plan to sell 1 million electric cars per year, and by then we also want to be the global market leader in electromobility. Going forward, our electric cars will be the hallmark of Volkswagen.”
Volkswagen announced their plans to launch a generation of electric cars beginning in 2020. They call this series of cars the I.D. family. This line of cars will reinvent their previous vehicles as electric versions.
The first models, debuting in 2020, will be the I.D. and the I.D. Crozz. In 2021, the ID. Roomzz model will be released, which will be a zero-emission SUV.
By 2022, the public can buy the I.D. Buzz, the I.D. Buzz Cargo, and the I.D. Vizzion. However, some models will be restricted to Europe. In addition to cars, Volkswagen also plans to create a charging network.
In a press release on August 8, 2019, Volkswagen announced plans to install 4,000 charging stations at their German sites by 2025. Beyond Germany, Volkswagen Group is working to provide over 36,000 charging points throughout Europe. The project cost is estimated at 250 million Euros.
The Future of Volkswagen
Analysts believe it’s only a matter of time before automakers ditch petrol cars in favor of electric cars, which many consider the next technological step for the auto industry. However, there are still challenges companies like Volkswagen face.
As mentioned earlier, electric cars require charging stations. Not only does Volkswagen have to create a new generation of cars, but they also have to update infrastructure. To make electric cars a reality, drivers need a network of charging points.
Nevertheless, Volkswagen is moving forward with their initiative. With auto giants like Volkswagen going electric, it’s only a matter of time before other car companies follow suit.
As the world demands higher environmental standards, companies are responding with greener initiatives. Volkswagen’s TOGETHER 2025+ project indicates that electric cars will be commonplace in the future.