According to CEO Herbert Diess, there needs to be a Volkswagen EV, and it needs to happen soon. The automotive industry is quickly shifting away from internal combustion engines, and governments worldwide are pushing mandates that automakers make at least half their lineups all-electric vehicles by 2030. Being left behind in the shift can mean losing significant market share.
Elon Musk surprise guest on a discussion about Volkswagen EV production
Tesla CEO Elon Musk spoke with 200 Volkswagen execs via video call after he was invited by Herbert Diess, according to a Reuters report. Diess invited Musk to convince the German automaker’s leadership to move faster on Volkswagen EV production.
Diess posed questions to the Tesla CEO to better understand how the EV maker can be more “nimble” than its competitors. Musk said that it is due to his management style and that he comes from an engineering background. Musk says that he has an eye for supply chains, logistics, and production.
Diess brought Musk in as a “surprise guest” and hoped that the appearance by the fellow CEO would convince executives that decisions on Volkswagen EV production need to be made faster.
To drive the point home, Diess spoke about how Telsa was able to successfully navigate the global chip shortage by reprogramming the firmware of its vehicles to work with different chips that were in greater supply.
Due to its size, Volkswagen is potentially Tesla’s biggest threat when it comes to the global EV market. Still, that potential can only be realized if the German automaker starts producing more EVs in the very near future.
Diess seemed to hint that perhaps Volkswagen and Tesla may work together rather than fight each other. The report says that Diess stated Volkswagen would “continue a dialouge” with Tesla.
Volkswagen hasn’t had much luck with combustion engines lately
One only needs to look at Volkswagen’s recent legal troubles to understand one of the reasons why its CEO is in such a hurry to get away from combustion engines entirely. Anyone who is a regular visitor of MotorBiscuit or follows automotive industry news is well aware of the “dieselgate” scandal in 2015.
Authorities learned that Volkswagen engineers were illegally modifying its software to pass emissions tests. The fallout from the scandal continues to cost Volkswagen money to this day, with countless entities suing the company the fraudulent emissions claims.
The automaker settled with New Hampshire and Montana in September, paying out $1.5 million between the two states.
A volume Volkswagen EV could do wonders to improve the brand’s image after the continuing dieselgate saga.
Volkswagen does have one EV to speak of
While it is true that the company’s CEO wants to push Volkswagen to make faster decisions when it comes to building EVs, the truth is the automaker has dipped a toe into the market. The Volkswagen ID.4 SUV is the automaker’s latest EV.
Furthermore, the Volkswagen ID.4 has an MSRP of just $39.995, making it competitively priced with other EVs in its segment. The Volkswagen ID.4 has a range of 250 miles which is short of most models offered from Tesla but respectable considering the ID’4’s MSRP.
If consumers respond well to this Volkswagen EV, it could go further to convince the automaker’s leadership to speed up EV production than a surprise video call from Elon Musk.