Our new question: Will Volkswagen Be Electric? To answer, we look at Volkswagen’s potential to charge up the electric mountain dominated by Tesla.
First, let’s see where electric vehicles (EVs) stand today. Then, we’ll review VW’s efforts to move forward in this sector.
The State of the Global EV Marketplace
The most recent actual in-depth global data on electric vehicles comes from May 2020. As Mark Kane reports for Inside EVs:
There is absolutely no competitor for the Tesla Model 3 these days, as Tesla’s entry-level EV noted almost 21,000 sales in a single month of May (and over 106,000 YTD). There is no single model above 5,000, as the second-best was GAC Aion S with 3,892 sales (#10 YTD with 14,516). The third best for the month was Renault ZOE (3,768 in May and 26,572 YTD). Next time we should see the Tesla Model Y in the Top 20, maybe even in Top 10.
A report by Cairn Energy Research Advisors, a research firm focused on the battery and EV industries, predicts a surge in electric vehicle sales in 2021. Why? Because countries around the world will push new programs to encourage consumers to buy battery-powered vehicles. Cairn estimates global sales of EVs in 2021 will jump 36%. And top 3 million vehicles for the first time ever.
A Quantum(Scape) Leap: Will Volkswagen Be Electric?
Overall, Volkswagen (VW) is the worldwide present-day leader in auto sales. Yet, as highlighted above, VW lags far behind Tesla in electric vehicle sales. Because that fact does not sit well with VW executives, they are working to fix the situation.
How? Consider the following, from Steve LeVine in Marker:
QuantumScape, a 10-year-old San Jose, California, startup backed by Bill Gates, said it has resolved lithium’s battery life problems. And that VW, the giant German automaker, expects to have cars using pure metallic lithium in their batteries on the road by 2025.
If the claims pan out, the commercial consequences could be substantial, instantly catapulting both VW and QuantumScape into a huge competitive lead in the hotly contested battery and EV industries. By increasing the distance that EVs can travel on a single charge by 50%, the QuantumScape-powered VWs would instantly be the electric vehicle to beat.