It’s a big challenge, even for one of the world’s biggest automakers

The Volkswagen Group is making a bold proclamation by announcing that it expects to have one million electric and plug-in hybrid models in the market by 2025. The number sounds ambitious on the surface, but with the expectation of carbon dioxide emission limits becoming stricter in major markets, one million EVs and plug-in hybrids in nine years is the target VW is setting for itself in order to meet the demands for these cars.

The challenge is real for Volkswagen and the company knows that it’s been brought about by circumstances outside of its control. To its credit, steps are already being made to get to that lofty number, including increasing the number of models it plans to release in the coming years. Right now, the VW group has a total of three EVs and six plug-in hybrids in the market.

Volkswagen accounts for four of those models – e-Up, e-Golf, Golf GTE, and Passat GTE – with Audi having three – R8 e-tron, A3 Sportback e-tron, and Q7 e-tron quattro – and Porsche having the other two – Panamera S E-Hybrid and Cayenne S E-Hybrid. More models are expected to join in the coming years, including two models – Porsche’s Mission E electric car and Audi’s e-tron quattro – that the automaker is developing to compete against Tesla. All told, Volkswagen wants to have at least 20 new electric and plug-in hybrid models in the market by 2020.

VW has also begun preparations to build a modular architecture, called MEB, for battery electric cars. This standard platform should make it easier for the company to design all sorts of vehicle types compared to what it currently uses on models like the e-Golf. Development of the MEB platform is expected to start this October.

Volkswagen brand production chief Thomas Ulbrich is confident that the goal of one million vehicles can be attained, saying that the automaker is capable of building at least 75,000 electric and plug-in hybrid models a year once the demand rises for these models when more markets begin putting a premium on having EVs and plug-in hybrids in the fold. It’s too early to tell if one million EVs and plug-in hybrids by 2025 is an attainable goal. But if anybody can pull it off, Volkswagen’s as good a choice as any automaker to get it done.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Why it matters

It sounds like an ambitious plan, and on the surface, it actually is. According to Automotive News, total cumulative volumes of EVs and plug-in hybrids since the start of their respective productions will total 103,000 by the end of the year. The e-Golf and the Golf GTE, in particular, are expected to sell just 12,100 and 13,400 units in 2016, respectively. It’s a big challenge for Volkswagen, even if it counts these sales as part of its goal to have one million units in the market.

But as I said, the Volkswagen Group has all the tools needed to get to that number. That’s one of the advantages of being one of the biggest automakers in the world. Some of its brands, including Audi and Porsche, are already knee-deep in their own research and development of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid models. If these companies can pull all of their resources together, I do think that Volkswagen can get to that nine-figure target in just under nine years.

That doesn’t mean that it’s going to be easy, and at this point, simply putting your faith in Volkswagen is a challenge. But scandals aside, the German automaker didn’t get to where it is now by coming short on any of the goals it has set of itself. If one million EVs and plug-in hybrids is an impossible task for other automakers, I don’t see Volkswagen shrinking to that challenge.

2015 Porsche Mission E

2015 Porsche Mission E Concept High Resolution Exterior
- image 645972

Read our full review on the 2015 Porsche Mission E here.

Source: Automotive News

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: