I recently sat down with Viktor Irle and Jose Pontes of EV Volumes to talk about Volkswagen Power Day, EV batteries, EV charging in Europe, and EV market share in Europe. To listen to our chat and their expert take on those topics, you can click play on the embedded SoundCloud player below or find CleanTech Talk on your favorite podcasting platform.
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Batteries — Tesla & Volkswagen
To start off, Viktor Irle’s first impression was that much of the Volkswagen Power Day presentation was very reminiscent of Tesla Battery Day. However, he added that there was a heavy focus on Europe and very little was mentioned about the company’s global plans, which seemed to be missed by at least some critics.
The similarities between Tesla’s plans and Volkswagen’s plans implied to Viktor that both companies are indeed on the right path.
Jose’s first key thought was that he’d like to see a Volkswagen Power Day focused on China, especially considering that Volkswagen is the largest automaker in China and will need to become the largest electric automaker in China to retain that title.
Both Jose and Viktor touch on the matter of solid-state batteries and the fact that it always seems to be several years away, so a focus on a range of lithium-based battery chemistries for now is still the name of the game, and it’s again interesting that Volkswagen and Tesla have quite similar plans in regards to chemistry — LFP batteries for lower-cost, lower-performance models and high-nickel-based or high-manganese-based batteries for higher-class, higher-performance electric models.
EV Fast Charging
Jose wanted to go on a bit of a rant about EV fast chargers in access. One key point is that EV fast chargers from IONITY and the likes are still very limited on the edges of Europe — Southern Europe, Eastern Europe, and even a bit of Northern Europe. That makes EV road trips and EV ownership much harder than it should be. He pointed out that it’s also a big reason why so many people (in Portugal, for example) buy Teslas over other brands.
On the plus side, Volkswagen put a lot of emphasis on EV chargers in its Power Day presentation.
Viktor also highlighted the fact that fast charging within cities is also heavily needed in Europe, especially since so many people live in large multifamily buildings without a dedicated parking spot with access to a plug. There is much greater need for fast chargers at grocery stores and such and that is still lacking across almost all of Europe.
We also talked a bit about the type of EV charging stations at destination hotspots like grocery stores that should be useful and abundant in a mature EV market in Europe.
EV Sales Boom in Europe
To close, I asked these EV sales experts about the tremendous explosion in EV market share in Europe in the past year. They also provide their expectations for 2021, 2022, and beyond. Listen to the show to catch all of that!
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