Volkswagen Group: Plug-In Electric Vehicles Sales To Be 2% to 3% of Our Total Annual Sales

APR 13 2014 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 13

At Volkswagen’s annual Media Conference and Investor Conference in Berlin, Dr. Martin Winterkorn, chairman of the board at VW AG, made one statement that stood out:

Golf GTE  in Geneva

Golf GTE in Geneva

“It is important to look at the cost of the components: the battery technology, the electric motor and the electric components. Whenever you go into volume production, you of course have economies of scale. In two to three years’ time, if we are able to achieve the goals we are setting for ourselves with cost and reach sufficient volume, I do believe that we can achieve two to three percent within VW Group. So, hitting a million EVs by 2020 is reachable.”

To clarify, Dr. Winterkorn is not saying that Volkswagen Group alone will produce 1 million EVs by 2020, but rather that Germany as a whole will have 1 million EVs on its roads.

Back to that 2 or 3% comment.

In 2013, Volkswagen Group sold 9.7 million automobiles globally.

So, even if you take 2% of that figure (which will likely rise by the time 2020 comes around), we arrive at 194,000.  That would be VW’s annual sales target for plug-in vehicles when costs come down due to economies of scale.

Understandably, this is a vague figure with no set timeframe and it includes a fair amount of “ifs,” but still it gives us a sense of where VW thinks it can be in terms of plug in sales at some point in the foreseeable future.

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13 Comments on "Volkswagen Group: Plug-In Electric Vehicles Sales To Be 2% to 3% of Our Total Annual Sales"

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Like GM, they could have sold more EVs, if their hearts were really in it…

Sadly this true. They have been dragged kicking and screaming into the EV world.

They were for a long time, but IMO they’re leading the way now, at least among the established automaker. Who else has so many plugins in the pipeline?

VW demoted Franciscus van Meel from the head of Quattro because he didn’t put any effort into the A8 e-tron. I think it’s clear that entrenched philosophies held them back from EVs for a while, but they realized the error of their ways and are turning the ship.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

Nothing VW-branded (or Audi short of their exotica) is “leading the way”. Leading the way would be a >=40kWh Passat with ~200kW/~600Nm motor (preferably combined output of 2 or 4 motors), or perhaps half that battery but with a 100kW Miller-cycle turbo 3 with exhaust-driven generator.

They have spent several years and billions of Euros designing and producing completely new platforms to enable alternative drive trains including electric.

There has been no sudden change of mind, the introduction of plug in cars has been years in the maturation.

Their PR department has come out with all sorts of lines, mostly mutually contradictory, but the production engineering has been consistent and well funded.

I wouldn’t give too much credit to sticking small batteries under front seats.

VW has been pretty vocal anti plug-in over the years (“Volt is a car for idiots” is a classic example)but clearly it also has been hatching its bets. Increasingly strict emission and fuel efficiency mandates has turned it into a regular plug-in champ now but some remaining cynicism of the long time plug-in enthusiasts is understandable.

You are correct. I suspect that in some corners of the VW empire, the emphasis on EV technology development has grown over the last 12-18 months, though, reflecting a need to compete with Tesla by 2017.

I think that is the case, as Mint says.

By 2020 they should rather expect 20-30% of sales to be electrified.

Soon there will be really hard and very expensive to buy (and of course for manufacturers to sell) to buy a car without a plug.

The overall industry volume in 2020 is expected to be 100 million cars, and some definition of EVs is expected to be 1 million according to what seems to be the industry consensus. Either VW believes it will be at twice the EV market share by then, or it’s talking about a date for that EV share to hit a few years after 2020. A projection for 2020 is pretty far out, so clearly things can change.

Gotta make them cheaper. A small EV with 120 mile range needs to be 20K euros or $25k US without i centives.

All this is fine and good, but at the end of the day, what will the eGolf cost? Since its performance metrics are nearly identical to the LEAF, will it be cheaper to compete?