Volkswagen surpassed Tesla in electric vehicle sales in Europe in February and January 2021, and during its Power Day presentation unveiled ambitious plans to reduce battery costs, build factories and capture more market share.
On Monday, the German car giant Volkswagen Group held its first “Power Day” presentation, presenting its long-term plans for battery and charging technology through 2030.
The group, which includes the brands Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche, rose more than 3.5% on the news.
The main statements from Volkswagen were as follows:
The automaker plans to build six electric vehicle and battery factories with a total production capacity of 240 GWh in Europe, two of which have already been set up with partner Northvolt in Sweden and Germany.
To implement plans for such a large-scale expansion, Volkswagen intends to actively cooperate with suppliers of raw materials.
Analysts noted that the declared capacity of 240 GWh of Volkswagen plants in Europe by 2030 would require 100% of global lithium production in 2016 and over 60% of lithium produced in 2020.
Volkswagen aims to gradually reduce the cost of batteries in the entry-level segment to 50%, and in the consumer segment to 30%;
and launch a new unified battery pack that will be installed in 80% of its electric vehicles by 2030.
According to the company, “this reorientation will allow for greater economies of scale and simplify production.”
Volkswagen has set itself the goal of standardizing hardware, software, batteries and charging, and services for all its brands in the future.
The German automaker also plans to expand its European charging network fivefold to 18,000 public fast charging points by 2025, including 8,000 in partnership with oil company BP.
Volkswagen also plans to build 3,500 charging points in North America by the end of 2021 through its US subsidiary, Electrify America, and 17,000 charging points in China by 2025 through a joint venture.
According to the press release, the forecast for Volkswagen electric vehicle deliveries in 2021 is 1 million units.
Volkswagen is the market leader for electric vehicles in Europe
Electric vehicle sales registration data for Germany, Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Denmark, Finland and Ireland compiled by EU-EVs.com showed that Volkswagen electric vehicles ranked first in the first two months of 2021.
The graph below shows the cumulative sales data for January-February for each electric vehicle model sold in these countries.
Thus, at the beginning of 2021, the electric hatchback Volkswagen ID.3 took about 8.5% of the market share, an even smaller electric Volkswagen e-UP 6.8% of the market.
At the same time, Tesla Model 3 came in 3rd place with a 6.2% market share thanks to strong sales in February. Tesla currently supplies its electric vehicles to Europe from a plant in China, however, the American company is actively building its first European plant in Brandenburg, near Berlin, and plans to launch it in the second half of this year.
Tesla’s current plans are about 750,000 electric vehicle deliveries in 2021.
According to analysts at UBS, electric vehicles could occupy 100% of the automotive market by 2040. The Swiss bank predicts that the necessary supply of battery cells to meet this demand will lead to “regional tensions this year and a global shortage of raw materials by 2025”.