Transition Time: Volkswagen Announces "Electric for All" Campaign

Volkswagen is transitioning away from diesel. Today it announced "Electric for All".

With a world premiere of a new modular electric drive matrix, Volkswagen Launches ELECTRIC FOR ALL Campaign.

As part of the ELECTRIC FOR ALL campaign launched today, the brand will be putting attractive models at affordable prices on the road, paving the way for the breakthrough of electric vehicles. The electric offensive is based on the modular electric drive matrix (MEB), a technology platform developed specifically for electric vehicles.

The MEB is the key to the electric car for all: it enables a hitherto unachievable price-service ratio and will be instrumental in transforming the electric vehicle from a niche product into a bestseller. Brand Board Member for E-Mobility Thomas Ulbrich commented: We will make electric vehicles popular and get as many people as possible excited about electric cars. The MEB is one of the most important projects in the history of Volkswagen a technological milestone, similar to the transition from the Beetle to the Golf.

Furthermore, the MEB bundles Volkswagens entire production knowledge: it is not a platform for vehicles with combustion engines that has been retroactively modified, but has from the outset been designed to be 100 percent, uncompromisingly electric. As Ulbrich put it: Our Modular Transverse Toolkit already proved Volkswagen is one of the most successful platform developers in the auto industry. Now, were transferring this know-how and this strategy to the electric age. By the end of 2022, four Group brands will be ramping up 27 MEB models worldwide, ranging from compact cars to the lifestyle Bulli. That is something quite unique.

All members of the ID. family are designed for fast charging. Using fast charging systems, the battery can be charged 80 percent in about 30 minutes thanks to a completely new, significantly more powerful battery system developed by Volkswagen Group Components. Senger explained: The use of a new generation of high-performance batteries begins with the ID. models. Thanks to their modular design and the multi-cell format, these batteries can be installed in smaller or larger ID. models.

Key Points

  • Electric vehicles at affordable prices with fast charging.
  • World premiere of the Modular Electric Drive (MEB) matrix is the key to the electric car for all
  • Board Member Thomas Ulbrich commented:The MEB is one of the most important projects in the history of Volkswagen a technological milestone, similar to the transition from the Beetle to the Golf
  • Volkswagen plans to sell some 150,000 electric cars, including 100,000 ID. models made in Germany, by 2020
  • 10 million electric vehicles across the Group based on the MEB

Transition Time

A quick check shows the transition will not be immediate. According to CarSalesBase Volkswagen European sales peaked in 2015 at just over 1.7 million cars.

Volkswagen Car Sales by Region

Globally, Volkswagen is huge in China. 150,000 cars is but a tiny fraction of sales. But the announcement was just made. We are headed into 2019.

To go from 0 to 150,000 in just over a year is quite impressive.

Tesla Production Comparison

Tesla's goal is 6,000 model 3 cars a month, 72,000 a year.

It struggles to hit 4,000 a month, and quality control is poor.

Tesla Battery Comparison

According to Quora, Tesla Supercharging stations charge with up to 145 kW of power distributed between two adjacent cars, with a maximum of 120 kW per car. That is up to 16 times as fast as public charging stations; they take about 20 minutes to charge to 50%, 40 minutes to charge to 80%, and 75 minutes to 100%.

Assuming Volkswagen can meet its stated goal, a Tesla takes 40 minutes at a "supercharging station". Volkswagen anticipates an 80% charge in a half hour.

Competition

Tesla is about to have serious competition from Volkswagen. GM and Ford cannot be that far behind now.

Whatever lead Tesla appeared to have in batteries has now vanished.

In the US, adoption to electric will take a while, perhaps a decade. In Europe and China, the roll-out will be much faster.

The end is now in sight for gas-powered vehicles in much of the world.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (53)
No. 1-23
tz1
tz1

The CA electric grid nearly collapsed from hot weather, and Gov. Moonbeam isn't planning on increasing the GRID (infrastructure, much less powerplant) capacity. Now add millions of electric cars...

Oh, also 30 minutes is with something like a supercharger. The nearest supercharger to me is over 100 miles away. Or I could charge it overnight using my state's hydro or clean coal (when it isn't mining Cryptocurrency). But I can't go that far.

There were electric cars in the 1920's. There is one in an auto museum in Montana. It could only go 20MPH.

The engineering problem is the "specific impulse" - BTUs or Joules per kilogram or cubic meter. Batteries are bad, rechargables are worse, Lithium can't be (economically yet) recycled and has a large energy footprint to mine and there isn't enough of it.

Have you already forgotten https://www.tesla.com/videos/battery-swap-event that was nixed

I can't transition from a dead battery to a charged one.

I wasn't dazzled by Tesla, but neither by the underlying super-tech-hype.

It took a while to replace livery stables with gas stations.

My big problem is I don't see gas stations being replaced with battery exchange sites, much less superchargers.

flubber
flubber

I wish I was smarter. I would like to know with today's technology, if relying on fossil fuels for most of our power generation, how much oil & coal & natural gas would need to be burned to energize our electrical grid to power all of our cars if all switched from gasoline to electric. Would the energy consumption be the same? Not sure if you measure such things in BTUs, joules, watts, amps, etc. Would switching exclusively to electric vehicles overwhelm our power grid? Would overall pollutants discharged into the atmosphere be reduced? I would like to hear a reasonable reply to my questions. I honestly don't have the answers.

SMF
SMF

In theory, you add a charger to your house. The price is about $5000 plus. This will be considered the largest load for a house, which is is. As this will be daily use, the grid just won't be able to handle it without massive additional infrastructure.

Ron Cataldi
Ron Cataldi

I just dropped $20 of good old fashioned gasoline into my 2007 Honda Fit, and noticed I missed the big moment- the odometer read 200,009. That's the kind of value I'm looking for in electrics, and I don't see any kind of proven track record being available for many years to come. We need oil to spike up to $150 again for people to take it seriously, and in that case the economy crumbles and no one is buying cars anyway.

flubber
flubber

Attached is an amazing video of automated production of electric motors for Audi vehicles. Very quiet and not much intervention by humans in the production process. I would assume that this is the wave of the future......electric vehicles and robotic manufacturing. The video is only 6 weeks old.

Wagner_4
Wagner_4

> Volkswagen plans to sell some 150,000 electric cars, including 100,000 ID. models made in Germany, by 2020

Only naive investors who have not been following EVs news for the last several years believe that.

VW, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Audi, GM, Ford should have less credibility w.r.t their EV production promises than Tesla. Admittedly, Tesla has slipped behind ~ year on their aspirational Model 3 production goal. However, these other manufacturers have been aspirationally promising "EVs in 2 years for the last several years" and done ALMOST NOTHING. Just few example:

https://insideevs.com/oft-delayed-audi-a3-e-tron-pushed-back/

Perhaps this has something to do more with investor psychology that VW & others have anonymous PR departments and general public don't hold them accountable for missing their EV promises; contrary to Tesla where a concrete person (Elon Musk) is doing the PR job and everyone remembers a concrete person making a concrete promise.

RonJ
RonJ

"Volkswagen Announces "Electric for All" Campaign"

Supposedly, lithium is not recyclable, as Karl Denninger mentioned the other week. What are the environmental issues surrounding the production of millions of lithium car batteries, which will have a limited life span? Another issue is the production of all the electricity needed. California wants to eliminate all new internal combustion engines and all non renewable sources of electricity by a certain date. Sounds good on paper, but reality hasn't worked out well so far.

douglascarey
douglascarey

The end is now in sight for gas-powered vehicles? Bahahahahah. Yeah, like 2059 in sight I guess. Same with self-driving cars. Mish has been hyping them like crazy, but we're not even close to seeing them on the road in any type of real quantity. We are at least 25 years away.

Stuki
Stuki

In financialized dystopias, a company that is "announcing a campaign," or "making a promise" of the future, rather than boringly building and profitably selling an product; is not in the business of selling vehicles to drivers, but rather to sell stocks and bonds to "investors." Who, in financialized dystopias, are the only ones with any money.

gliderdude
gliderdude

Simply amazing logical disconnect between Mish's knee jerk negativity on Tesla vehicles and his radiant optimism about other manufacturer's future "projections" of similar EVs that are behind Tesla's infrastructure with already 300,000 sold vehicles. All pretend validated with misleading data. Mish, explain your angle here? Why do you push this so hard? Help us understand this phenomena. What income, both directly and indirectly, do you receive from your negative cut'n'paste Tesla articles? You still have not answered my question about the relevancy of your put position. Please inform your readers what percentage of your portfolio is in TSLA puts to answer whether your position is serious or token.

mpowerOR
mpowerOR

watch value of used diesel VW's skyrocket... why? DEMAND.

the automaker that re-introduces efficient, renewable diesels to the US will make a mint. Book it.

All of this electric car BS is just virtue-signalling.

mpowerOR
mpowerOR

How are those massive batteries recycled? Oh yeah... they're not. 100% toxic, 0% recycleable.

gliderdude
gliderdude

Mish, on another point, Tesla shorts love to repeat ad infinitum that Tesla has bond debt coming due in Q1 2019, which they never mention amounts to less than 3% of its current market cap. Can you comment on Volkswagen's debt as well?

My cut and paste from WSJ: Volkswagen at group level had 18.03 billion in cash at the end of 2017, but the company also faces high spending requirements. The diesel scandal cost over 19.1 billion as of Dec. 31, 2017. The company also pledged to spend 34 billion by 2022 on a wide-ranging mobility and digitization effort. Volkswagen had total borrowings of 163.47 billion, versus earnings of 11.63 billion as of Dec. 31, 2017.

superDuper
superDuper

Counterpoint: Musk called all Volkswagen owners pedophiles.

RedQueenRace
RedQueenRace

"Tesla's goal is 6,000 model 3 cars a month, 72,000 a year.

It struggles to hit 4,000 a month, and quality control is poor."

Um, Tesla certainly has it's issues but the above is way off as the goal is per WEEK, not month. The goal for Q3 alone is 50-55,000 and they should make that.

KidHorn
KidHorn

I don't know enough about the technologies to know what or who will succeed, but I would guess German Engineers will succeed over a drug addled adolescent CEO.

ipso_facto
ipso_facto

Are you willing to wait 30 minutes at a charge station to get '80%' new possible mileage. Gasoline station takes less than 5 minutes.

Kinuachdrach
Kinuachdrach

As my late father observed -- Listen carefully to what people say; listen even more carefully to what they do not say.

VW makes no mention of the range of their yet-to-be-built electric vehicle -- and we can all guess why. If the driver has to recharge 3 times as often as with gasoline, and each recharge takes about 8 times longer than gasoline, the electric vehicle is going to be a tough sell outside niche markets. Which is exactly what we see today.

Besides, we know that German automobile manufacturers lie. Fool me once ...

Grumblenose
Grumblenose

In a BEV you are sitting right atop a huge mass of highly reactive chemical energy, just itching to incinerate you. Like driving around with a bomb between your legs.

MissionAccomplished
MissionAccomplished

Let's revisit the return on this "investment in the future" when ZIRP is over.

mbass100
mbass100

the ev technology works great for me, you charge at night at home, so no need to go to the gas station, once in a while I'll do public charging, but not that often

mbass100
mbass100

with regards to the safety argument, gasoline tanks are also flammable, but hardly ever explode

Sechel
Sechel

40 minutes to recharge is too long for many applications. Can't imagine doing a cross country road trip and having to wait 2/3 of an hour at the 'gas' pump