Volkswagen the latest manufacturer to back the electrification of automotives

The world’s largest car manufacturer, Volkswagen, has made waves at the Frankfurt motor show this week after announcing they will be joining the growing list of manufacturers making the move to electric vehicles.

Having recently overtaken Toyota as the world’s largest car maker, Volkswagen has made it clear that they believe the automotive industry is undergoing undeniably rapid change.

Falling battery costs, government subsidies and regulatory pressure has pushed Volkswagen to believe electric and hybrid vehicles are the future of motoring. Increasingly difficult emission reduction clamps on car manufacturers around the globe have also been pointed out as a deciding factor in the decision to go electric.

Volkswagen announced during its presentation at the Frankfurt motor show that they will be committing €30 billion ($48 billion AUD) over the next 5 years to building electric or hybrid versions of every vehicle in their line-up. They are also aiming to have 70 new electric models on the market by 2028, and by 2030 they are hoping that four-in-ten vehicles sold are electric.

Volkswagen also used the motor show to officially unveil their first ever electric vehicle, the ID.3 hatchback.

“The car of the new era is here,” exclaimed Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess after revealing the car to the public for the first time.

“The ID.3 marks the start of a major e-mobility campaign for Volkswagen.”

While some cynics have been sceptical of the German car makers since their emissions “cheating” scandal shocked the automotive world, Volkswagen is committed to the electrification of their fleet.

The ID.3 will be produced using 100% renewable energy, with Diess claiming “The ID.3 is the world’s first overall CO2-neutral electric car.”

Consumers will even be able to power their ID.3 using zero-emission energy, with Volkswagens offering 100% sustainable options through its subsidiary brand, Elli.

The electric model has been described as a compact car with a mid-range car interior by ID head of sales and marketing, Silke Bagschik.

“The ID.3 is an all-rounder that is suitable for everyday use,” said Bagschik.

“It is compact, as such offering the manoeuvrability of a small car with the interior space of a mid-range vehicle. It combines exciting design with innovative technology and significant range.

Speaking of range, the ID.3 standard edition comes with a 45kWh battery that promises a range of 330km. The model will also be offering 58kWh and 77kWh options, good for a range of 470km and 550km respectively.

The first edition of the ID.3 (the ID.3 1st) with the mid-range battery will initially be available for €40,000 ($65,000 AUD).

Production is expected to begin in November.

Original source: The Australian | Volkswagen takes a bet that the future of cars electric (subscription required)

11 Sep 2019