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Euro on Sunday standpoint: E-mobility: VW could electrify | message

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by Norbert Hagen, guest author for Euro am Sonntag

Kan established car manufacturer relies as heavily on electromobility as the Volkswagen Group. The plant in Zwickau has already been converted for the production of electric vehicles for 1.2 billion euros. There are now no more combustion engines from the production line, but the ID.3. The first thoroughbred electric car from VW has what it takes to compete with the successful Model 3 from Tesla. In terms of range, the two are on par. The basic version of the ID.3 comes 426 kilometers away on one charge in accordance with the WLTP standard – 17 kilometers more than Tesla’s Model 3 with the smallest battery.

Without extras, the VW Stromer costs just under 35,600 euros. With the cheapest Model 3, on the other hand, customers have to put 45,900 euros on the table, a good 10,000 euros more. This will hardly scare off “Tesla fans”, but for “normal” buyers the sharp price difference should play an important role in the purchase decision. In both cases, the 9,000 euros purchase premium for electric vehicles must be deducted from the prices. The ID.3 is no longer more expensive than a Golf with a gasoline or diesel engine.

VW Tesla is making even more competition with the ID.4. Because like the Model Y, this is an electric SUV. VW supposedly wants to produce the car as early as the fourth quarter in a joint plant with SIAC in Shanghai. The price is so far unknown. In Germany, the VW plant in Emden is to take over production from 2022. VW also wants the brands’ electric cars there Skoda and build Seat. A total of up to 300,000 vehicles with electric motors are expected to roll off the assembly line in Emden each year.

In the premium class, the VW group Tesla has been putting pressure on the Porsche Taycan since the end of 2019. The purely electrically powered sports car sold around 4,500 times in the first half of the current year. Indeed, it lagged well behind the Model S and X, of which almost 23,000 were sold in the same period. For the aging Tesla models, however, sales figures have been falling for a long time.

The Volkswagen brand plans to produce 100,000 of its latest e-model this year. There are also around 50,000 e-Golfs and E-Ups. But that should only be the beginning. VW steps on the gas. Volkswagen plans to produce around one million pure electric vehicles as early as 2023. For comparison: Tesla plans to sell 500,000 vehicles this year. However, the Americans delivered “only” around 185,000 vehicles in the first half of 2020.

Tesla is still worth three times as much as Volkswagen

The prospects are particularly good for Europe. A significant increase in sales can be expected here at the latest from next year. Because then strict limit values ​​apply for CO2-Emissions from new vehicle fleets. If this is exceeded, sensitive penalties are due. That could hit VW especially hard as the world’s largest automaker. Experts expect up to 4.5 billion euros that VW would have to pay at the top. So it should be much cheaper to push the sale of emission-free e-cars and thus reduce CO2– Upper limits to be observed.

In addition to the limited range, the insufficient number of charging points has long been considered a bottleneck for the spread of e-cars. Tesla started here early to equip its sales markets with its superchargers. Here too, VW is now following suit. In Germany alone, an additional 4,000 charging points are to be created by 2025. Together with the dealers, the group wants to provide 36,000 new charging points in Europe, which will even use renewable electricity.

If VW actually implements its plans and becomes the world market leader in e-cars, the share should get moving. A comparison with Tesla shows how big the lever is. The American electric car pioneer is currently worth around three times as much on the stock exchange as the entire Volkswagen Group. The start of sales of the ID.3 should provide the first signals of where the Wolfsburg-based company is headed.

Norbert Hagen


Capital market expert

Hagen is the spokesman for the board at ICM InvestmentBank, Berlin. Thirteen years ago, the graduate in economics took over the management of the Leonardo mixed fund, which has received several awards. Hagen himself describes his investment style as fundamentally opportunistic; he prefers to invest in a very wide range of corporate bonds. In doing so, he relies on the detailed fundamental analysis of the respective debtor.


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