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Volkswagen Group confirms 20 more EV or PHEV models by 2020; Müller says Europe needs to lead with electric mobility

At the Volkswagen Group’s New Year reception in Brussels, Group CEO Matthias Müller said that the Group would concentrate on sustainability more than ever before—encompassing products, strategy and management. Müller will present the new Strategy 2025 for the Group this summer.

Among other things, the company’s brands will introduce about 20 additional models with electrical or plug-in hybrid drive trains by 2020, the CEO confirmed. (That number had been put forth by former CEO Martin Winterkorn at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2015. Earlier post.) The Volkswagen Group comprises twelve brands from seven European countries.

Müller also said that Europe needs to take the technological lead in future areas of the automotive sector and work with policy makers to create the necessary framework conditions.

Whether digitization, autonomous driving or electric mobility, Europe should set the course in terms of infrastructure and the right legislative framework, Müller told the numerous honorary guests and EU parliamentarians. “We must not leave this playing field to Silicon Valley.”

The Volkswagen Group especially wants policy makers and the automotive industry to cooperate more closely on digital transformation and electric mobility.

The efforts of our industry alone won’t be enough. We need to work together to make sure that Europe remains innovative and competitive as an industrial location in a rapidly changing world. A true breakthrough for electric mobility will only be achieved if politics, society and authorities work together more closely.

—Mattias Müller

Müller used the lack of infrastructure as an example: Europe desperately needs an extensive network of 150 kW rapid charging stations. Customer trust in e-mobility will only grow “if there is a visible, functioning infrastructure,” said Müller.

(Audi of America has committed to building out a network of 150 kW rapid charging stations for the coming 2018 battery-electric production version of the e-tron quattro SUV. Earlier post.)

The emissions issue. Speaking to the emissions cheating scandal that emerged last September (earlier post), Müller told the EU parliamentarians in Brussels that the company is using the current crisis to fundamentally realign the Group. “I strongly feel we now have the chance to build a new and better Volkswagen.

Müller said that the company would have the emission values of its vehicles checked and certified by external and independent inspectors in the future. The company vehicles will also be tested randomly under real driving conditions. “We hope this will help to win back trust.

The industry-wide discrepancies between the official test results and actual consumption are no longer accepted and no longer acceptable. We need to break new ground here.

—Mattias Müller

The CEO stated that EU-wide, comprehensive technical solutions for the approximately 8.5 million vehicles have been agreed. The retrofitting will start this week.

We will manage the recall in the most customer friendly and best possible way.

—Mattias Müller

Volkswagen has more than 440,000 employees at 72 locations in Europe, and the Group is the largest industrial investor in many EU countries.


Account Deleted

That industry-wide discrepancies between the official test results and actual consumption was made possible because VW lobbied hard for it to happen. They principally orchestreted it in the first place. Now that the fraud is widely acknowledged VW is lobbying hard to change the emission legislation so that they can keep pollution at the much higher real world pollution rates. The old car industry is not at all interested in making non-polluting and safer vehicles. It would require huge investment to make cars safe and non-polluting and the industry does not want to make that investment as it hurts their profits and employee perks.

I have lost hope that the old auto industry will change by itself and they have enough sway over politics to prevent a change that is politically enforced over the industry. My hope is that new companies like Tesla, Apple and other we have not even heard about yet will change the industry using autonomous and battery electric vehicles to enable much safer, pollution free and cheaper transportation for everybody. That is how we will do something about the 1.2 million traffic accidents every year and about the 4 million people that every year dies prematurely because of diseases caused by breathing exhaust gasses from combustion engines made by the auto industry.

Account Deleted

Sorry should have said 1.2 million traffic death per year. There are 10s of millions of traffic accidents per year globally.


@ Henrik
The established auto industry has absolutely no interest in building either BEVs or autonomous, absolutely safe cars.
The profits on a new car are marginally small. The real cash flow begins once the warranty period has expired. Maintenace, during the complete life of a car, is a steady source of income (and subsequently taxes). After expiration of warranty, repairs resulting from stress, wear and tear, and accidents are a true income boom for the car business.
BEVs have an inherently low tendency towards maintenance and repair and are, hence, not a preferable business model. Autonomous cars (either BEVs or ICEs) have a very low tendency towards accidents and are an unattractive option.
The most attractive car option for a dealer or MFCR is a vehicle that just manages to pass the warranty period and ensures them both a steady and high income rate once warranty has expired.

Account Deleted

Yoatmon very good points. That also explains why the old auto industry wants to force Tesla to sell through auto dealers. The dealers have zero incentive to promote the sales of an electric car that has very little maintenance. Moreover, because it has an autopilot system that minimizes accidents there is even less repairs to profit from. In other words, forcing Tesla to use dealers would be a way to bankrupt Tesla and get rid of an unwanted competition. It just makes me dislike the old auto industry even more.


"Europe needs to lead with electric mobility.."
I don't know that they "need" to. Five years ago BMW told buyers that they did not need hybrids, small turbo engines and 8 speed transmission would be enough.


The bean counters must be looking down a very deep shaft as they realise where these carbon fuel engines are headed.

Wars are fought for less.

That leaves us with a lot of spare human resource capacity to bring zero emission technology on line. Plenty of capacity to implement education, social and environmental work.

The world is changing, the old school moguls, bean counters and their advertising propagandist monkeys should consider a future in entertainment and join a circus.


The search for more and more profits will continue to drive our industries for many more decades.

Short duration throw away gadgets (and even e-cars) will be mass produced to keep production and sales at higher levels and generate more profits. Yearly production growth is a must to get richer.

Whoever tries to produce and sell autonomous drive e-vehicles to last 20+ years will have a hard time to survive. Throw away producers will use all the tricks available to stop him.

Juan Carlos Zuleta Calderón

It seems like Toyota is the only carmaker betting essentially on hybrids and fuel cells in their medium and long-term strategy. Unfortunately, their approach appears to be flawed. See my article published today on Seeking Alpha:


Toyota is going for the magnesium battery. Long range thinking and performance might win out in the long run. They have the money to fund that.


Autonomous e-drive vehicles make possible "vehicle as a service" at lower cost to users.  This will be picked up by youth, urban hipsters and others for whom vehicle ownership lies between unattractive and impossible.  Once they are used to this, decreasing numbers will ever enter the market for vehicles.  The conventional auto mfgrs will be left competing in a shrinking market, where the e-drive companies already have the future sewn up.

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