Video: Volkswagen US CEO Discusses Electric Vehicles


The first production electric vehicle bound for the US from Volkswagen is the e-Golf, which will arrive in early 2015, but beyond that, the German automaker promises to push electric like nobody else in the industry.

VW US CEO Discusses Electric Vehicles

VW US CEO Discusses Electric Vehicles

VW’s commitment to electric vehicles comes way late, but Volkswagen definitely has the “tools” to catch up.

If VW is as serious as they say, then in 3 or 4 year’s time, the German automaker could have more plug-in vehicles on the market than any other automaker.

Could…but will VW stick to its guns?

What better way to find out than to listen to Jonathan Browning, Volkswagen Group of America CEO, speak to CNBC in a “live” interview on “Squawk on the Street.”

As this Browning quote shows, VW seems to still be lukewarm when it comes to electrics, so perhaps the automaker won’t lead the way soon:

“Electrification won’t be the only solution.  Electric vehicles will be part of the landscape, but certainly not the only part.”

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15 Comments on "Video: Volkswagen US CEO Discusses Electric Vehicles"

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The sweet spot for an EV as they say, in terms of range and price, is a double edge sword for all auto manufacturers except Tesla. When a 200 mile range EV becomes available for $30K pre Federal and State incentives, what do you think will happen to regular ICE car sales in that price range? That’s why I think Tesla will be first to market with the 200 mile affordable EV.


Except Tesla won’t price it $30k pre-incentive.

I don’t know why so many people believe this. Tesla wants the gen3 to be a BMW 3 series competitor, and they want good margins. It’s an upscale brand and wants to stay that way. The mass market acceptance of pure EVs isn’t proven anyway, so why bother with a pricing strategy that’ll only work at high volumes? Nissan and GM have much more experience in cost cutting anyway.

Mid-30’s *after* incentive, and no less. Book it. They’ll match a BMW 328i in features/performance/price, then extol the $1500/yr fuel savings.

Quality, not quantity. Keep that in mind, VW. We want good quality EVs, and not just your interpretation of the LEAF and i-MiEV (e-Golf and e-Go respectively). Make something better than what’s out there and we’ll take notice.

It’s e-Up. there is no e-Go there

Here! Here!


So to sum it up, VW is saying “Us too, stay tuned”. bleh. Show me the EV’s.

Interesting to see Browning tout a 118 mile range from a 24.2 kWh battery. One of those numbers will need to be updated prior to an EPA rating.

I’ll do it now.. um… 76 miles AER 🙂

We should expect more whiplash-inducing changes of course from car companies as the plug-in revolution spreads. And I remain convinced that what scares them spitless is not the Tesla S or the Leaf or the Volt, but the possibility of someone making the Big Battery Breakthrough that kicks the whole transition to electrified vehicles into warp speed.

As Nelson pointed out above, once EVs become a no brainer for the majority of consumers, or even a sizable portion (30%, say), then we’ll hit a very disruptive tipping point and some vehicles, like plain old ICE cars in the $25k to $30k range, will see sales drop precipitously.

It’s going to be an exciting time, but not without some wicked surprises.

No, I really think they’re particularly worried about Tesla.

VW is:

Which are expanding high-margin makes?
Which are most vulnerable to a successful Tesla?

Although it’s expected that Tesla will need improvements to cell density in order to lower pack cost through reducing the number of cells, they might not need any really _radical_ breakthroughs to achieve that goal. Consider the implications should Tesla succeed in making a 60kWh car for $35k, with heavily-automated manufacturing in multiple key locations. Not only would they be able to attack the fatter luxury market, they’d have low running costs and performance characteristics that would make the car attractive to the upper, higher-margin mainstream market.

As icing on the cake, the cell volume and lower prices generated by a long-range BEV could spark the mid-range BEV market. Mid-range BEVs, have both problems of market limits and lower cell count, which puts mid-range BEVs in a Catch 22 where it’s hard for them to generate economies of scale.

The VW brand that sticks out to me is Audi. They have the most to lose from Tesla and you betcha they’ll be throwing billions in resources towards a competitor for the upcoming Infinity
and Models X and S.

Bluestar just ups the heat.

It’s not out of the question Tesla or some other car company could at least get a 150 mile real working range car or a 200 mile range car. Such as Tesla right now has a 208 mile range car with a 60 kilowatt pack made out of 3100mAh batteries but at the same time there are batteries that are the same size that are 3400mAh and 4200 mAh along with even a few 5000mAh. So if Tesla moved up when one or two of these levels that could make things possible if not already.

VW’s actions speak louder than their words. 2015 as their entry date? Losers. By the time they ship their first car, others will be on their next generation.

This is why I’m not looking forward too much to how those 22 miles went in the Porsche Panamera S E-hybrid. They are under VW’s roof, after all. How much better will they let it get?

Boring company, very boring cars. Golf, e-Up, A4 e-tron are already too old compared to competition. Not a single tech feature catches an eye. And that VW’s “future”.
Panamera PHEV? Much better, but being compared with S-class PHEV and Tesla… which one is more appealing?
Have guts, say what is reality…and that is being… VW has no clue nor belief in electric cars.