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Volkswagen EV lineup. Image courtesy of Volkswagen via Inside Transportation

Cars

Volkswagen Says EV Operations Will Be Profitable Earlier Than Expected

Volkswagen says its EVs may become profitable sooner than it thought.

Prior to the Volkswagen Group annual meeting on March 15, the company told the press that several of its electric car models, including the Porsche Taycan, are sold out through the end of 2022. In addition, high demand is helping its electric car business become as profitable as its conventional car business more quickly than expected.

According to CFO Arno Antlitz, “We see better scale, we see better margins, we see high customer demand. Originally we thought it takes two to three years until we see the [profit] parity of ICE and battery-electric vehicles.”

Volkswagen has worked for several years on an aggressive plan to transition to electric vehicles, aiming to have EVs account for half of its global production by 2030. While the plan isn’t expected to hit its full stride until the middle of this decade, it’s already bearing fruit.

Volkswagen was the leading seller of EVs in Europe, with about 25% of the market. In the US, it was second behind Tesla, with about 7.5% share last year, according to CNBC. Volkswagen’s share of China’s EV market is still relatively small, but it is growing quickly. Its EV deliveries in China were up 400% to 93,000 cars in 2021 and it expects deliveries to double again in 2022.

Ford is part of the reason why Volkswagen is seeing sunny skies ahead for its EV operations. As we reported yesterday, Ford is planning two battery-electric models for Europe that will be based on VW’s MEB electric car platform. Those cars are expected to account for 1.2 million sales over 6 years beginning in 2023. That’s roughly twice as many as the two companies originally planned.

Say Hello To Trinity Electric Cars

In a separate update for investors, Volkswagen said that its next-generation EV platform — code named SSP — is on track to launch in 2026. The company is building a new €2.2 billion factory in Wolfsburg to produce electric cars on the new chassis, which is designed to accommodate vehicles larger than those that fit the MEB platform. The first SSP based car is said to be a battery-electric sedan code-named Trinity, and it is possible the large sedan in the picture above offers a glimpse of what that car may look like.

Volkswagen is also expanding its global charging network from about 10,000 high speed chargers in the US, China, and Europe today to more than 45,000 of them in all three regions by 2025. 10,000 of those high speed chargers will be operated by Electrify America in the United States.

Prior to the annual meeting, Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess told reporters that the Russian assault on Ukraine could result in the company moving some production out of Europe to North America and China in response to war related supply chain disruptions. The company currently has one assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and three in China. The Tennessee factory is being expanded to produce the ID.4 with ID.5 and ID. Buzz production likely to take place there as well in the future.

 
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Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else the Singularity may lead him. You can follow him on Twitter but not on any social media platforms run by evil overlords like Facebook.

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