What Volkswagen’s New Electric Cars Mean for the Automobile Industry
When TV shows and cartoons portray futuristic technology, electric transportation is almost always the most prominent development featured. With pictures of flying cars and high-speed trains dominating our imagination, it goes to show that people love to fantasize about how technology will transform our mobility.
While there’s no doubt that technology continues to evolve and change our daily life, it seems like transportation is a bit slow to keep up. Quartz reports that electric cars are nowhere near mainstream, with battery-powered cars comprising only 2 percent of overall global auto sales.
And while Tesla has been forging a name for itself when it comes to electric cars, there’s also another player on the horizon. Recently, German company Volkswagen has entered the game, and the company has hopes that its offerings will be what brings electric cars into mainstream consciousness.
The newest model
Volkswagen officially unveiled its ID.3 at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The ID.3’s concept was first introduced in 2016, and the company slated its release for mid-2020. Each unit will cost $33,000 in an effort to make electric cars accessible to the greater public. For comparison, Tesla’s Model 3 currently goes for about $45,000.
The ID.3 is a compact option, similar in size to the Volkswagen Golf. This is also the first car that’s being built on the company’s modular platform, which will be used to develop other electric vehicle models in the future. Limited editions of the car were quickly sold out.
New cars and new batteries
Volkswagen aims to produce over 70 electric car models within the next decade, amounting to 22 million automobiles overall. This isn’t new for anyone who’s been following the German car manufacturer. CEO Herbert Diess proclaimed last year that Volkswagen would go under an “electric offensive” strategy as the company plans to invest over $50 billion into electric cars by 2023.
Aside from car manufacturing, Volkswagen is also planning to build its own lithium-ion batteries. The plan is to build a battery factory within Germany, and the company has already partnered with the Swedish battery company Northvolt in order to do so.
Experts expect this move to increase Europe’s battery production industry — it’s a significant move considering most battery factories are still located in China.
The changing demand for electric cars
Customer demand, as mentioned earlier, remains a tricky issue. There’s no doubt that vehicle sales, in general, are on the rise. Tech writer Daniel Ling cites a recent ASEAN report that traces the growing mobility market within the region, which is set to outpace the world by 2040. That means there’s plenty of room for electric vehicles to penetrate the local and international markets.
In this regard, USA Today cites government regulations as the main barrier. Each country has its own CO2 regulations, which makes it difficult for car manufacturers to successfully sell their product across several locations.
That said, governments are partnering with private companies to reduce carbon emissions. As more politicians grow aware of climate change’s urgency, the future of electric cars may come sooner than expected.
Written by Alleigh Czarina
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