UPDATE: VW CEO Says Automaker Will Make Electric Cars Mainstream

NOV 16 2018 BY MARK KANE 162

Production secured for 50 15 million BEVs.

Volkswagen‘s CEO Herbert Diess said that the company will help electric cars go mainstream using its new MEB platform, which is developed for the mass market.

***UPDATE: VW has confirmed that Diess overstated the goal:

“Diess meant to say 15 million, not 50 million cars.”

Currently, Volkswagen is at #8 among automotive groups, at a volume 2.5-times lower than Tesla in regards to plug-in electric vehicle production, but Diess believes that will change.

The new MEB platform is expected to lower the price of EVs by 40%, while at the same time doubling the range and increasing interior space.

“We will be aggressive on the pricing. We will be much lower than Tesla, but we have all the huge economies of scale and the car is specifically designed now.”

Another strong point for VW is that they are big in China, which accounts for about half of the global plug-in car market.

With several mainstream brands around the world and production plants all over the globe, as well as placed orders for batteries from CATL, LG Chem and Samsung SDI, Volkswagen feels confident that it will be the automaker to take electric vehicles mainstream.

Source: Automotive News

Categories: Volkswagen

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162 Comments on "UPDATE: VW CEO Says Automaker Will Make Electric Cars Mainstream"

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Oh nooo, what if ALL the cars start being electric and the only thing that will make Tesla stand out is that they are better looking, better performing, and have better $/range metrics!? /s

Price and vehicle type will matter.

So well self-driving capability. There are a lot of baby boomers who will need it.

Is that a crack, sonny???

Then Tesla will have won. 🙂

+ infinity!

won what?

The war. The whole point of Tesla was to get the world off fossil fuels ASAP. If Tesla gets run out of business because the big automakers actually DO produce better cheaper EVs and manage to outcompete in every way, then Tesla will have served its purpose.

And., IF The Dog Didn’t Stop To Take A Sh!t , He Would’ve Caught That Rabbit ! …………lmao…. 🙂

And Musk would have more time to work on his other 57 projects.


The mission to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport.

Won More Sales ?……… 🙂

Gosh yes, how terrible that would be! Elon Musk says “Don’t throw me into that briar patch!”
😆 😆 😆

Attributed to Brer Rabbit.

Right before rabbit stew. Reverse reverse psychology…

Better looking? Please stop drinking!
VW are at least able to make cars with even panel gaps and interiors that actually fit together.

For me a car is much more than straight line acceleration and range.

I’m afraid you’re behind the times. By nearly all accounts, the Model S is a really sexy car. The Model 3 looks good, and it handles extremely well. Various gearhead magazines have been very impressed with the Model 3, particularly with track mode. The cornering is excellent, as is the straight-line acceleration. It’s simply a superior vehicle.

I sat in the cabin of a Model 3 yesterday. Obviously a demonstrator lives a hard life, but parts of the interior wasn’t in place any longer. Didn’t get a chance to drive it, unfortunately.
The Model S is a clumsy car perhaps fit for american highways.

I love how randos on the internet endlessly bleat about all the problems they see in Teslas, yet they never actually provide photo evidence. So you’re just spouting BS. Go a way little troll.

Anecdotally, many Americans, who end up driving in Europe, find European roads narrower than in the US. Also consider this: in the US, a VW Passat is categorized as a midsize car; in Europe it’s a large car – without being any larger.

It’s not unreasonable for a poster from (presumably) Finland to view the Model S as a large car, perhaps too large for some European roads.

Maybe the same car as I seat two days ago that was totally perfect on every point of view and finishing.

Well, it’s no wonder that you have sour grapes for Tesla cars, if you had to settle for a Volkswagen! Poor baby. 🙄

“VW are at least able to make cars with even panel gaps and interiors that actually fit together.”

Thanks, you just told everyone you DON’T own a Tesla.

Seriously, haven’t you Tesla bashers found anything better to complain about than uneven panel gaps?

I have never in my life heard anyone say “Gosh, I sure would like to buy that car, if only it didn’t have uneven panel gaps!”

And I’m fairly sure I never will, either. Car buyers not only don’t care, they don’t even notice such things.

Sorry, but your reply is about as lame is it comes. I have had my Model 3 for 3 weeks now. Panel gaps and interior fit and finish are flawless. I have driven Lexus in the past and my wife currently drives a Volvo, and this car is equal to or superior to those cars in almost every way. Is it perfect? No, of course not, no car is. But the endless droning on about panel gaps and interior fit and finish is just a red herring. Come to the table with something legitimate to discuss.

Tesla don’t need to stand out. The market will be big enough for multiple brands. VW produce vehicles in a different price category to Tesla so don’t directly compete. Audi do, but the premium market will be big enough for both and the quote is attributed to the VW CEO, not VAG.

The quote is actually a reasonable comparison to Tesla. We, VW are going to sell EV’s 40% cheaper than a premium EV maker. Excellent, it means they’ll be selling vehicles to the type of person buying a Golf or Jetta now, not an BMW or Audi.

….well VW had better hurry because EVs have already gone mainstream in Norway, Sweden, and California.

So, when can we go out and test drive all these awesome VW EV’s? Will it be before I can get a Tesla Model 3?

2020, as they have been saying since 2016.

Well, not all of them… Just the first two models 🙂

And that’s IF the diesel emissions liars actually produce these. They do apparently lie pretty easily.

2020 for where? how many cars? California only, or what?

On China

You will get a Tesla model 3 before you can get a VW ID something something, but will probably be able to get an Audi e-tron before the Tesla. . that is.. if you placed your order for any of these cars last year, or something like that.
They are beginning to stock up the e-tron now, so we’ll see what numbers they get in January and February.
I expect Model 3 to arrive at the same time, and they also have thousands of customers waiting in line.

You may get a Zöe, or maybe a BMW i3 or a LEAF without that much of a line. Maybe just a few month.

Being interested in EVs and all – the next 3-5 years will be epic.
I think the change to EVs will be quicker then expected.

At least in the U.S., the lead time for a LR PUP Model 3 seems to be pretty short now (ones of weeks), so since the etron availability continues to be “stay tuned” I would bet good money on getting the Model 3 first. Not a base Model 3, no, but the LR PUP is the right one to cross-shop against the etron anyway.

A little difference:
Tesla is now on Europe, ID no.
E-tron will be out sooner than first customers get the Model 3 on europe before march? Don’t think so.

E-tron will be ready in January. The factory do produce cars, and stock vehicles. Demo vehicles are being shipped now. I think they could have sold a few hundred this year, but they stock up, to get some media attention next year, by delivering more cars at once. Let us see in 7-10 weeks.

Tesla with the Model 3 could also beat their own sales record in Norway. If they have planned well enough, with all the logistics challenges.

The I.D will come much later then the Model 3, e-tron and probably also after new EVs from Peugeot/Citroen/Opel.

I don’t know if VW will ‘leapfrog’ Tesla, but VW combined with the rest of the big boys will likely be selling more EV’s than Tesla within 5 years. We do appreciate VW’s efforts because the big boys will move a little quicker if they see a big demand for reasonably-priced VW EV’s. With so many EV’s of all types coming to market within 5 years, I believe the big boys will take an even bigger percentage of the EV market from Tesla, year after year.

Yup, and that can only be a good thing and im sure that this will benefit everybody in the end

Bingo! Markets as big and entrenched as the car biz usually don’t turn on a dime. They often turn in segments, with leaders experiencing some failures but ultimately dragging the stragglers along.

We’re all impatient here as we wait for the rEVolution to hit warp speed. I get it. I’ve been following this stuff and waiting (im)patiently since the late 1970s. But it’s finally about to arrive, and it will be wonderful and a little bit scary and unpredictable.

Buckle up, buttercups.

Oddly enough it’s still in the early innings as these types of changes take monumental efforts and a long time.
Considering the archaic pedantry of legacy auto, it’s amazing we have advanced as far as we have.
But now finally the sleeping giants are aroused and making a lot of noise, Fi Fie Foe Fum, here We Come.
VW sound like a big brass band but act more like the little drummer boy.

Regarding the last sentence, it takes about 4 years to go from blank slate of a new model to production.

MoMac, maybe planning it all takes that long, but GM and Tesla both showed their EV’s and about 1 year later they delivered them. VW showed the ID range how long ago and where are they? It is easy for people to be snarky at VW given all the bluster and talk they are making but very little to show for it at this stage.
Maybe other companies have also put in big orders for batteries but not out there spouting off, you know, just incase it doesn’t go according to plan?

You say that like the demand for EVs is stagnant.. better to rephrase it as the Legacy automakers will REPLACE a % of ICE marketshare by producing cheaper EVs, i.e. increase EVs and reduce ICEs. Tesla will grow sales and have a LARGER % of total vehicle marketshare but smaller % of EV marketshare by default since the industry and market are transforming.

Tesla will only lose market share if other makers grow production faster than Tesla does. None of the specific production figures announced by VW thus far are suggesting that they will do so…

Please tell us how many batteries they will have made every year.

How many who will make? The established manufacturers? Not many. The battery companies they have contracted to do it for them? I don’t know – millions?

There is a huge demand for reasonably priced EV’s. VW is doing nothing to introduce economy of scale, and thus be able to produce a reasonably priced EV.

15 million cars is “nothing to introduce economy of scale”?…

How did you miss the most important part of the article, that he said VW sourced enough batteries for 50 million EVs?

What was said was: “VW has booked production in its plants for 50 million full-electric cars, Diess said, and has sourced the batteries to power those vehicles from three Asian companies: CATL in China and LG and Samsung in South Korea.”

If you read that carefully, it means this:
VW has found sources and established relationships with three battery suppliers. Relationships are not contracts.
As for booked production, that means what, exactly? 50 million is a really large number, more than half annual global car/truck sales globally for 2017. I am really unsure what booked production means. Over what time frame? Does that mean suppliers have contracts for 2020 (assuming they don’t move the start date another year)?

VW seems like a fiance’ who will never commit to a wedding date.

A german source [1] says this:
“In den Werken seien Kapazitäten für 50 Millionen Elektroauto-Plattformen gebucht, bei den Batterieherstellern CATL, LG und Samsung seien ebenso viele Batterien bestellt.”
The second part says: “from the battery suppliers CATL, LG and Samsung, just as many batteries are said to have been ordered”

The 50 million should refer to the overall number of cars planned on the MEB platform until its end. On the old MQB, a similar number of cars has been produced.

[1] https://www.auto-motor-und-sport.de/news/vw-chef-diess-plant-mit-50-millionen-elektroautos/

Thanks for the link. There is one interesting bit in this article that’s missing from the English one: “Furthermore, Diess believes that the EV trend will halt the SUV boom, since sedans could get up to 50 miles more range than big SUVs.” — something people on this forum have been stipulating for a while 🙂

I hope that part’s true — SUVs & CUVs for paved roads are an abomination.

You can read the full interview in English here: http://europe.autonews.com/article/20181112/COPY/311129986/1640

That’s a good point.
So why is VW excluding the US market with its first I.D. model, the Neo? One would think that VW would at least sell it in states with ZEV credits, to reduce the number of ZEV credits it has to purchase.

Maybe VW will change its mind.

Because hatchbacks don’t sell well in the US, every market is different. They are foucsing on CUVs, SUVs and the microbus for the North American market.

Regarding the platform, previously they claimed they will make about 10 million vehicles in the “first wave” until 2026, i.e. presumably the life time of the first generation of MEB. Pretty sure they didn’t suddenly up their expectations by a factor of five. The 50 million claim no doubt includes future generations, up to at least 2030…

Right, it seems pretty clear that the claim of “50 million”, even if it turns out to me more than just more of VW’s vaporware, will be spaced over a number of years. It definitely is not a claim for producing 50 million PEVs in a single year.

Duh, obviously VW wasn’t claiming they will be selling 50 million vehicles (EV or otherwise) per year. That would be five times what they sell now, and half of the global vehicle market.

EVs are waste of time and resources if Tesla is the only one that has enough batteries. That won’t save the world..

You are correct that consumer EVs alone will not save the world. We need to transition to 100% carbon neutral energy production and 100% clean transportation in all sectors.

I’m actually very sceptical about this claim, considering that this would be several times more than the previously claimed 48 billion worth of battery contracts…

The battery contract of $48B (CATL, Samsung, LG) is until 2025, and this amount is excluding a new contract with SK for Audi and VW USA. The 50 million units of BEV is “open ended” on MEB platform.

It is good that VW is planning to go EV big time. Tesla can’t do it all alone. Will they leapfrog Nissan?

They will leapfrog both Nissan and Tesla.

They certainly could, if they really try. Will they, though? The concrete production numbers they announced thus far do not really suggest that…

Nissan has been very reticent in their EV announcements other the past years… Unless they have a program of a similar scale in the works behind closed doors, it seems very likely VW will leapfrog them.

Another Euro point of view

Nissan came to EVs too early, VW may come with about the exact right timing, that is when li-ion batteries are just barely good enough and cheap enough to make it in real mass production cars. Those early 25 kWh or so EVs were just expensive embarrassments for about 99% of people considering to buy a car. It could even be they partly ruined EV image in general public.

If not for the LEAF model 3 may have been delayed substantially as S/X gave profitability. It’s quite a stretch to say that gen 1 LEAF was an embarrassment considering 95% of all journeys are within its range. But that thinking has stuck, unfortunately, when one should consider your daily needs first and that rare long journey as a parenthesis.

“If not for the LEAF model 3 may have been delayed substantially”

I think it is the Bolt earning that distinction.

I don’t think either is. It’s not like Tesla said, “look, our competition has unprofitable / barely profitable models at a lower price point that barely sell — that means we have to accelerate our affordable offering!”

“If not for the LEAF model 3 may have been delayed substantially as S/X gave profitability.”

Not at all. Tesla’s business plan from the start — before Elon took over the company — has been to produce a stair-step series of progressively lower-priced EVs, as the price of batteries comes down. Elon accelerated the process with Gigafactory 1, which not only lowered Tesla’s cost per kWh, it also gave Tesla access to a much bigger supply of batteries than any other EV maker except BYD.

We can credit Elon for remaining true to the original vision for Tesla’s progress, but he didn’t create that vision.

I respectfully disagree. VW was pulled to ev production kicking and screaming. They steadfastly stuck to their diesel dream until it collapsed around them and only recently saw the light. We still have promises a-plenty and not much else from them. Don’t get me wrong. I wish them all the luck in the world but show me the money.
The early 80-100 mile ev’s we’re and are very useful and still fullfill 80- 90% of most driving needs.

I will reserve judgement until I can go down to my local VW dealer and see anything other than an eGolf. VW needs to divert some of the labor in the press release shop into putting metal on the road.

As Mister G would say:



Another Euro point of view

🙂 Please do not wake him up….

As impressions go, that one was spot on.

Eduardo Pelegri-Llopart

Setting aside the issues on securing enough batteries, there is the big issue of how they could they accomplish this while not impacting their existing business model.

Why would it matter if it impacts their existing business model, as long as they are making money?

Because they don’t just care about making a profit, but making the most profit. EVs will make them less per unit on the initial sale, and will do very little to help sustain their dealer network. That last detail I’m guessing has the car companies losing sleep. The last thing they want is to have to deal with dead zones in markets where dealers have closed up shop.

The current franchise model of selling cars in the US is going to undergo a major shift, and one the car companies don’t completely know how to handle. They could well resort to the unthinkable — petitioning lawmakers to (gasp!) allow company-owned stores. Now wouldn’t that be a heck of a thing…?

Less profit is still better than no profit because people are buying EVs from the competition instead of ICE cars from them.

Also the whole point of VW waiting so long for battery prices to drop before entering the market and why they are now going in with not one or two models (like Nissan or Hyundai) but with over two dozen models is because they want to achieve the same profit margin as with their ICE cars.

I think you are overestimating how much money VW makes on a ICE Golf or a ICE Polo. Mass market auto makers don’t have the dream profit margins Tesla currently enjoys with their premium Model 3, they can only succeed with massive scale. And that’s what they are now preparing for the EV market.

The claim that EVs will kill margins has always been doubtful. While it was surely true for low-volume compliance cars, there is no reason why it would be true once makes get serious about EVs. Considering that most models are selling faster than they can make them, in spite of being overpriced, it should follow that they can be sold at a good profit once the costs are brought down.

Indeed VW does seem to be saying that they can make them at good profit now that they are serious about it — and the challenge is only with the upfront costs of the transition…

It’s the story of efficient markets, you cut out the middle-man.
Universally the dealer network model is ever unpopular, people think they are getting ripped off, and they are correct. Mostly it’s just recognized as the price of doing business, and boy will they give you the business, if you give them yours.

Not really. How many major manufacturers sell direct to customers and don’t use third parties? Outside of a few notable exceptions that own anything more than a flagship store or two (Apple, who still sell most of their products through third parties) there are basically none.

Farming out your individual sales is something many small companies transition to to help their companies grow and increase profitability and it’s something that’s unlikely to change for the car industry.

That said there may be a change in dealership model, with changes in the way dealerships interact with customers and manufacturers themselves (for example higher margins on cars to offset reduced maintenance profits).

It’s also worth pointing out that the majority of people (around three quarters) are actually satisfies with dealership interactions.

“…the majority of people (around three quarters) are actually satisfies with dealership interactions.”

You must be living on another planet.

Lou, the VW group is more embedded in society than you likely are aware of. Big part of ownership is by one of the states in Germany. As well, the union is part of the management. Overall, the management’s views are likely a good representation of German population’s views. Not quite as capitalist and cold as most US firms. The diesel scheme was likely known to very few and does not likely reflect the views of VW’s ownership at large.

Some germans never stop shouting.

Another Euro point of view

Are you sure ? I happen to live 40 km away from the German border and never heard a sound but maybe it is because the whole world was made deaf by the shouts of the orange guy.

Diess specifically compared it to the E-Golf. I would do the math anyway, so I might just as well post it here.

e-Golf starts at 35.900 € (incl. VAT, so should be fairly close to US pricing). 40 % price drop would result in 21.540 €.
EPA-Range is 125 miles or 200 km. Double the range would be 250 miles. I don’t think that this will be possible with the 48 kWh pack. More likely the second size (62 kWh).

Both figures – but especially combined – are significantly more optimistic than what has previously been rumored.
I am highly doubtful, that this combination will be what VW will offer in two years. On the other hand, this casts a promising light on the existing estimates as not to bee too far off.

He claimed *costs* will be 40% lower, not price. The price will also be significantly lower, but probably not by 40%, since they actually want to make a good profit on it…

Golf-sized vehicle with reasonable aerodynamics should certainly be able to do 250mi EPA on 62kWh, as you say — that’s the EPA range of the Kona EV, in the same size class (and the MEB Golf should have better aero, since it doesn’t have the CUV disadvantage).
The price mentioned is the questionable part — I can only see it happening with huge economies of scale, and that will take a while.

But VW probably has the pockets for it. TEsla has also lost money on the m3, quite a lot even, so why couldn’t VW tolerate the same ?

It probably could, financially… But I don’t see VW’s board & owners going for it. They’re not unanimously deep believers in EVs at this point (recall that 15% of VW shares & 17% of voting power belongs to oil state Qatar), and the company isn’t run like a startup.

The more the merrier! But do they have the battery supply for 50M cars secured?

Tesla sells BEVs. VW sells EV vaporware. (Does “VW” stand for Volkswagen or for VaporWare?)

If VW cranks up production of BEVs using the massive economy of scale to drop the price below what Tesla can sell them for, then that will be wonderful! Fantastic! Marvelous! That’s exactly what the EV revolution needs.

But VW has been claiming for quite a few years now that they are going to do exactly that, without any follow-through. VW has been merely talking the talk. Time for it to walk the walk.

Another Euro point of view

I did not figure that we were in 2020 yet, geez, time flies.

No follow through? What do you consider transitioning their automotive plants to EVs? Or the Porsche Taycan? Or the 10’s of billions of euros worth of battery orders? Ffs.

I call it more of VW’s vaporware. All sound and fury, signifying nothing.

If VW does actually put the Mission E/ Taycan into production, then good for them. But why should we believe that will happen when nearly all of VW’s claims for EVs turn out to be vaporware?

It does. As we speak of vaporware: VW literally vapored the previous records at Pikes Peak with his EV racer:

VW Will Mainstream & Constantly Only Build Prototypes of Electric Vehicles For Showing . No Mass Production ! ..fco.. 🙁

This is funny. All this talk from VW and we don’t see much. The thing that they DIDN”T talk about they actually produced….. diesel emission fraud. Many of those. I’ll believe all of this when I SEE it.

You will see the production version of the first ID car in a few months. Rumors say it will be revealed in Q1 2019.

How many times have we heard that before?

Yeah, we’ll see it real soon now. Just like all the other times VW announced it.

Diess, man that is boring, having gone thru a leaf this stuff doesn’t attract any new customers to EVs they might run away from EVs actually

Still waiting!

As they were confident about how clean-diesel was the way of the future, just a few short years ago.
There’s an interesting game that involves confidence, it has devolved simply into the term con-game.
What VW is running is such a game. I have no confidence in anything they say or do,

I think, Elon would say – Talk less and produce more.

Another Euro point of view

Let’s just hope VW will not follow Elon’s book otherwise they will produce like 10% of what they claim they will produce in the first year of production of those new EVs.

Do you people really want VW to be the winner here? Renault seems more commited to make affordable EVs at large scale, owing to their latest comments about how the diesel affairs has affected the outlook on their own production. I for one remain sceptical to VW’s commitments and I think it is a healthy position to assume.

I really don’t care who builds millions of EVs, as long as people buy them and replace ICE cars. I also don’t care where they get sold. It’s a global problem.

The winner will be every person on Earth, as well as Mother Earth, if some auto maker starts replacing gasmobiles with long-range plug-in EVs in large numbers.

I don’t care all that much who does it, so long as it gets done.

The EV revolution isn’t a zero-sum game between EV makers. It’s a zero-sum game between EV makers and gasmobile makers.

VW says a lot of things.

We’re waiting VW.


By far the best and most brilliant lie uttered by VW yet.

Production secured. Is that like “Funding secured.” ? 🙂
I’ll believe VW when their EVs are available across the US and not just in zev states.

I just heard a report on German radio. It seems Audi as part of the VW group is in a world of pain in Ingolstadt. They are working shorter shifts and letting employees from vendors (not full time employees) go due to lack of work. Per report this is due to the effects of the diesel scandal. To me this sounds a lot of urgency is needed to ensure future success. BEVs would seem to me the logical next step…

This has nothing to do with dieselgate, it is about the new WLTP testing procedure. They don’t have enough testing equipment.

Still talking, give me results!

VW may have been doing more talking than walking, but developing a solid foundation for a successful product strategy from a 100 billion dollar company is not something that you do in a weekend. These things take time.

And while you’re doing it, you get the word out. For one thing, many people here seem to forget that the shareholders have a right to know what their money is being used for. So yes, in the beginning there is lots of talk and little action. But everything I see and hear points to VW being very serious about this.

We should rejoice, not complain.

VW PR dept working overtime again. Vapourware pictures and talk is cheap. They lied to us about Dieselgate so they might still be lying to us now, you decide if they can be trusted to deliver EV’s.

The 20.000$ VW EV will be a the VW T-Cross, the VW Polo SUV whit 4.110 mm (13,5 feet). The VW T-Cross starts at 20.000€ in Europe whit the 1.0 engine 95hp.
That’s the same price as the Hyundai Kona 1.0 T-Gdi, but the Hyundai Kona 39,2 kWh starts at 38.500 euros in most countries in Europe.
The big question is, will VW be able to deliver a VW T-Cross EV for almost half the price of the Hyundai Kona 39,2 kWh in Europe? Probably in 2025 😉

It will be a different car, based on a different platform — though I guess it might be a similar form factor?

If the cheapest ICE variant costs €20.000 though, it’s unlikely that the BEV variant will be that cheap… They claimed their BEVs will match the price of their former diesels, not the gasoline variants.

“Boast when riding home.”
I’m now waiting for my new e-Golf for almost a year and delivery is not yet scheduled.

Glad to hear they “plan” on doing this & hope that they achieve their goals. But these words seem to be cheap without seeing any results.

15 M is not a bad number. VW has been painted with the Diesel Gate and that makes it easier for them to internally go more aggressively toward EVs. I will give them the benefit of the doubt that they will exceed Ford and GM’s EV numbers soon. What do you want VW to say? They get crucified if they don’t plan for an EV switch, and then when they say they are going to do it, they also get crucified here. Give them a year – we should start seeing motion if what they have been saying is accurate.

That update is pretty funny. With the old number (50M EVs) it seemed like maybe VW would actually run right alongside Tesla. New number means they’ll run way behind.


That number seems more or less in line what they claimed previously, which would amount to about 3 million BEVs by 2025. I guess there is hope that Tesla might be selling more than that by 2025; but I wouldn’t bet on it — and at any rate, it probably won’t be too much more.

How many cars do you think Tesla are going to be able to make by 2023? 250k? to the end of this year, 500k next year, 500k the year after, 700k the year after, 900k the year after that and then around 1 million in 2023? So by the end of 2023 lets say around 3.9 million vehicles, assuming their China Plant comes online on schedule and they may get some input from the first production of their EU plant.

Do we have a timescale for these 15 million cars? I feel like 2025 would be too soon (which I think is the battery contracts?), so maybe 2030? Either way, 15 million cars is probably a good case for Tesla considering they need to expand their production to include at least one more unannounced factory so far.

So all the discussions here and elsewhere about the impressive 50M number (either discounting it completely, or trying to figure out how it could be done) ended up being noise. ..
Sorry, but I call bullshit. It’s true that “50” and “15” are easy to mistake for each other in spoken English, esp. with a non-native speaker who might not be mindful of the different syllable stress.

However, there were accompanying statements on battery sourcing (as mentioned in David H’s comments above), and there would have been a lot of PR flacks and other people who would have got the error pre-speech.
IMO, Diess suddenly realized that he might called on to fulfill the promise, got cold feet & walked back his statement. Shameful touse such a poor excuse.

It was an interview, not a speech. It’s perfectly possible that he misspoke — or it might even be a transcription error. I’d say mishearing “fifteen” for “fifty” is a really easy mistake to make…

The source cited by David is just another article based on the same original source, and thus obviously repeating the same error.

I think there is a translation problem. What Diess is actually saying is Tesla shamed them into taking evs mainstream

Maybe if there was the same confusion on his Million Euro paycheck he’d learn to pay more attention to those silly numbers. Most of these business types start out as business or accounting majors and its just not reasonable to think they’d be able to do numbers, or, heaven forbid, any mathematics on them.

I sure hope they give us a production ready Crozz (with pricing and specs) during the LA Auto Show in two weeks. They claim a US release in 2020 (just over a year away now) yet details are slim.

Most cars are only officially announced (price at least) a few months before their production/delivery date so it’s unlikely to have that much info. There could be an almost final version on display though?

You mean just like Model Y details?

Sure, I can’t wait for them to go mainstream.

Stop talking, do it!!!

The first mass appeal market BEV will have the following features:

Size/capacity/configuration like a CR-V/Rav-4/Forrester.
Minimum range of 250miles to 300 miles per charge.
Price around $30K.
0-60mph of less than 8 seconds.
Supercharger like coverage in infrastructure
Reliability reputation like Honda CR-V/Toyota Rav-4
Top safety features and ratings.

Any automakers that can do 5 out of 7 will see a boatload of them. Anyone that can do all 7 will dominate the sales in every market.

15 million, now that makes a lot more sense 🙂 They were previously talking about 10 million in the “first wave” up to 2026, presumably on the first-gen MEB platform. Add other platforms (PPE etc.), and I guess 15 million total in that time sounds about right…

Correction: elsewhere it has been clarified that they are now planning for “up to” 15 millions on the MEB platform alone… Though “up to” is rather vague — so it’s not really clear whether they actually upped their ambitions in their mean time, or just framed it differently.

Sure, it happens all the time 15, 50, 16, 60, but what are those in German?

15 – fünfzehn
50 – fünfzig

The interview was in English.

VW back again on their deceptive ways. 15, not 50 milion. 15 milion is a lie as well. Every carmedia outlet reports, and VW’s is getting free green publicity, while in the real EU-world, they still sell thousands of dieselpoluting cars a day.
VW killing europeans slowly.

I’ll believe it when I see it. If they can do it, and does, nothing could be better. It just doesn’t seem very likely.


With that many different battery suppliers, I predict supply chain chaos and battery reliability issues.

you are so right — out to the lowest bidder is not a winning strategy when it comes to batteries.

Indeed. Sourcing batteries from many different suppliers seems like inviting trouble in large amounts.

Nonsense. Having alternatives is the only way to survive at that size. If you get all your supply from a single source you are vulnerable. A single incident could stop your entire production at 100k cars per month that would lead to instant bankruptcy.

I agree with the general statement — except “instant bankruptcy” seems way over the top.

Having different suppliers for different models (and sometimes variations within models) doesn’t seem at all unusual in the car business. (Or any mass-manufacturing, for that matter…)

I don’t think batteries are special in that regard.

The good Dr. Herbert Diess, and CEO of VW, accidentally overstated the EV goal by only 35 million cars!

What’s 35 million EVs between friends?

On >> March 6, 2018 << the then CEO of Volkswagen, Mathias Muller, said:

"Diesel will see a renaissance in the not-too-distant future because people who drove diesels will realize that it was a very comfortable drive concept. Once the knowledge that diesels are eco-friendly firms up in people's minds, then for me there's no reason not to buy one."


On November 16, 2018 the Volkswagen board votes to shift a very significant number of its production to electric vehicles.

The good Dr. Diess may just be the architect of the biggest turnaround in the shortest time possible in automotive history.

Sounds great. Let’s get it going ASAP.

You can promise a lot of things, but batteries may still be the chokepoint. Making a low range, high volume car for low prices made more sense.

Could you please stopp to publish every day such bullish announcements from VW?

VW should buy Nike. Maybe then they would Just Do It when it comes to manufacturing and selling EVs.

So far, they announce a lot and write press releases. They’ve done this for years, so I’m not sympathetic to the argument that it’s all coming soon.

It looks like Tesla will need to maintain it’s ‘Premium’ brand status and keep pricing and features above the $30k price point. This includes interior and exterior design as well. Which means the design of the Model 3 and Model Y need to push more upmarket toward Model S. It seems that for VW to produce an EV at around $20k, it would need to be a base model, at base 200 miles of range, without full self-driving technology built in, along with less technology overall, but more of basic ICE entry model features, cloth seats, with added tech and comfort bringing up the price toward Model 3. Just thinking about it and talking with the general public, many of the autonomous and configurable features of Tesla models are a bit above what many current ICE owners are ready for. Even the idea of autopilot freaks them out. So there is a need for the basic old school like EV for those still on android or using windows pcs that haven’t been able to upgrade to Apple products yet. VW could help make EVs more mainstream with offering more lower prices base models at higher volume. Which is a good… Read more »

Not everyone considers Apple products an “upgrade”… In fact when it comes to features, while they introduce some groundbreaking ones now and again, on the whole they tend to be more limited and often behind.

I agree that Tesla is an upmarket brand, and likely to remain so — though I wouldn’t exclude the possibility that they introduce a secondary brand at some point once the premium segments are saturated… Assuming budget cars will still sell at all at that point.