Volkswagen is more committed to e-mobility than any other German automaker. Thomas Ulbrich, VW's board member responsible for e-mobility, explains what the company is planning.
Mr Ulbrich, Volkswagen aims to sell a million electric cars in the next three years. Where does your optimism come from?
Our mission is electromobility for all! That's why Volkswagen has launched the biggest e-offensive in the automotive industry. Production of the ID.3 began at the Zwickau plant in November 2019, and the demand has been enormous. More than 37,000 customers have pre-ordered and paid a deposit on an electric vehicle (EV). This shows that people want climate-friendly, individual mobility – and we want to make this system change affordable for millions of people.
Expanding the EV charging infrastructure is the key to success.
Up to now, the big breakthrough has been prevented by EVs' lack of suitability for everyday use – e.g. their short range and a lack of recharging points. Do you see significant improvements here?
Expanding the charging infrastructure is a matter of urgency. This is the key to success at present. Volkswagen are very much involved in improving the situation here: together with our dealers we are building our own charging points. The target is to open a total of 36,000 charging points at retail outlets and other locations throughout Europe by 2025. In addition, we are building up a public fast-charging network on important European motorways in partnership with the Ionity charging network. And our Group's subsidiary Elli offers green electricity as well as charging solutions for private customers; after all, in the future most charging will be done at home or at work. And on the subject of range: the ID.3 comes with three different battery sizes with ranges from 330 to 550 kilometres according to the WLTP Test Procedure.
Which leaves the high price: an ID.3 is as expensive to buy as a Golf, although it has no engine, no alternator, no exhaust system and is easier to produce. Why?
Volkswagen wants to make e-mobility affordable for broad sections of the population. The ID.3 offers added value in terms of space, driving dynamics and digital networking.
Interview: Martin Orth
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