But speaking to reporters last week at the show, Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess acknowledged that the main components of the automaker’s huge electric push — batteries — will continue to present a challenge to the profitability of the company’s plan.
“Batteries will remain expensive and in short supply for the foreseeable future,” Diess said.
In the U.S., Volkswagen’s electric push won’t begin until late 2020, when U.S. dealers are set to get their first ID4 crossovers imported from Germany. A new $800 million EV assembly line in Chattanooga is set to break ground soon, but the first sales-ready ID4s are not due off that line until 2022.
The ID4 is expected to share a number of the ID3’s technological features, including its interactive head-up display that, among other things, overlays navigational direction arrows onto the windshield to signal upcoming turns.
VW plans to launch a product family of battery electric vehicles worldwide using the ID brand and the MEB global modular electric platform. The automaker says ID is an acronym for Intelligent Design.
Volkswagen Group’s EV onslaught began this year with the Audi e-tron and is expected to encompass some 70 planned EV models by 2028 across its brands, Diess said. The automaker, still recovering from its global diesel emissions scandal, has pledged to be carbon dioxide-neutral globally by 2050.
“In 10 years in Europe and China, every other [Volkswagen] car will be electric,” Diess pledged though an interpreter. “For the environment, there is no alternative.”