Volkswagen held the first Power Day this week and left us with interesting information for its future. Power Day was just what the automaker called the 2021 Annual Press Conference, but it definitely created a buzz.
VW has big plans to create better batteries at a faster pace. This will make electric vehicles more accessible for drivers. Don’t say Volkswagen is copying Tesla just yet.
What we learned at Volkswagen’s Power Day
Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess was very confident in the future Volkswagen is planning out for electric vehicles. In the presentation, Diess noted that its first challenge was to scale volume production to the product portfolio.
The main points? Technology roadmap, timing, and price. The technology roadmap shows the current approach being used with various batteries and types across the lineup. In other words, make the product cheaper and easier to get.
For the future, Diess wants all of the cars to use one battery. That means one unified cell will power all of the vehicles. Basically, batteries need to charge faster, last longer, and be less expensive. That’s the goal.
He also noted that the company planned to use a closed-loop approach for the new batteries. The closed-loop shows a battery cell, battery systems, first use, second use, recycling.
“Our transformation will be fast, it will be unprecedented. The transformation will be bigger than anything the industry has seen in the last century.”Herbert Diess | Volkswagen CEO
After that, 80% of cars will have the same design of the battery to ramp up production. Deiss noted that the company will start this roadmap in 2023 and achieve 80% by 2030.
The goal is to have the cost of inexpensive and mainstream battery cells be reduced in cost by 30-50%. The other 20% of batteries will be “high-end” chemistry for high performance. Most likely, this refers to bigger trucks like semi-trailer trucks.
Does this compete with Tesla’s plan?
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Diess has been pretty clear that he wants to follow Elon Musk and Tesla’s footsteps. Back in 2020, Diess posted an update on LinkedIn that he wanted to catch up with Tesla.
He titled this “Mission T.” This was an event created to study Tesla’s plan and see how VW could mimic such success.
The event revolved around how we can catch up with Tesla – a company focused exclusively on the future, without a traditional car business.Herbert Diess | Volkswagen Group CEO
According to Jalopnik, Tesla had a similar Battery Day on September 22, 2020. Elon Musk announced a similar strategy to change the battery technology that Tesla was currently using.
Tesla hoped to reduce the price of batteries by 56%. With that, Tesla hopes to be able to offer a car under the price of $30,000. The new batteries will be made in-house, which will allow the company to lower the price of vehicles.
In addition to the price reduction, the batteries would be more powerful and get a further range.
It isn’t a competition
Volkswagen already has the 2021 ID.4 coming out, which has been pitted against Tesla’s Model Y since the announcement. Though the vehicles have some similarities, the ID.4 is a force to be reckoned with.
However, Comparing the Model Y to the ID.4 is expected but not necessary. Both companies have the same goal: to make electric power more accessible for everyone.
In conclusion, if Volkswagen is inspired by the progress Tesla makes, what’s wrong with that? Above all, the end product is a more affordable and longer-lasting car for all of us.