Volkswagen expects to become global leader in e-mobility by 2025

Volkswagen expects to become global leader in e-mobility by 2025

It’s no surprise that Volkswagen won’t make a serious effort to sell electric cars before 2020. The automaker has been saying it for a long time in its numerous press releases about e-mobility. Nevertheless, Volkswagen wants to be the global e-mobility leader by 2025.


Anyway, this year, Volkswagen will only have 3 BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) models for sale. They are the e-Golf, e-up and the upcoming electric van e-Crafter. However, Volkswagen expects to add another 50 new BEVs by 2025, as you can see in the roadmap below.


E-mobility model offensive of the Volkswagen Group


In this roadmap we see the obvious, BEVs will outnumber PHEVs real soon, since PHEV is just a bridge technology.


One reason why Volkswagen is delaying BEVs until 2020 is battery costs. While at the battery cell level the cost will be already below 100 € per kWh next year, it won’t be until 2020 that we can say the same about the complete battery pack, as you can see in the chart below.


Battery costs roadmap by Volkswagen


With the kWh cost below 100 € at the battery pack level, BEVs will be cheaper to produce than diesel cars – and not much more expensive than the petrol counterparts.

Another reason why Volkswagen is delaying BEVs until 2020 is range. Nevertheless, already next year with NCM 811 battery cells, cost and range won’t be problems anymore.


Advances in battery technology will improve range, weight and costs by Volkswagen


In the chart above you can see a nice increase in the volumetric energy density, which from 2018 onwards isn’t accompanied by a similar evolution in the homologated range, because the more realistic test cycle WLTP (similar to EPA) is already gradually replacing NEDC.


It will be interesting to see the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance and the Volkswagen Group battling for the e-mobility leadership in the coming years. The Hyundai Kia Automotive Group will also be in the race by selling electric cars with great value for the money.



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This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. Far not real plan for battery technology, I think. Ok, 10-20% capacity increasing is rather real for 2-3 years, but not almost doubling. And it’s impossible to increase capacity and decrease cost. People, there are still big problem to rump up battery production. We should think about it. All the dreaming about more and more range is very harmful for wider ev adoption. More range should be the choice for expensive cars, but we need cheap EVs right now.

    1. Yes, we definitely need cheap EVs right now.

      Volkswagen could already be selling the e-up with profit for 15.000 € if it wanted to. Renault could also sell the much awaited Twingo ZE for the same price.

    2. Absolutely. Some years ago, DOE calculated that $125/kWh would be enough for price parity even without subsidies. I think that even higher values can be enough keeping in mind increasing efficiency to about 6 km/kWh and people readiness to use EVs with smaller batteries.

    3. I have no problem to believe in this roadmap. The point is that VW and many others (BMW) started it’s roadmap (and of course their production vehicles) with low absolute base. It is well known that Tesla began with 2012 with about 700Wh/l cells in 18650 format. But now at the end of 2017 we are still sitting at about 750Wh/l absolute maximum value in mass production. From Pedros great articles seems that we can finally break 800Wh/l absolute limit in cells ready for MP next year.

    4. Higher density/kwh means higher range for the same weight. Thus It will be less harmful for the environnment as the emissions of Co2/kg of Battery during the production will also decrease every year (greener grid of china, production in europe or in the usa). I suspect also that the battery packs will be lighter and so Bev will be more efficients (10kwh/100km, it s already the case with the hyundai ioniq with good weather conditions)

    5. On the price point, old battery technologies will decrease more rapidly with the new battery technologies that will make them obsoletes.

      And those old technologies will still be available for car manufacturers which will want to make affordable bev for the crowd. Even if I think that new battery technologies (ncm 622-811) are also affordable because nissan didn t change the price of their new leaf (still around 30.000€ battery pack included).

      And we know how the nissan/renault group is greedy ( they are making a big profit selling thoses zoe and leaf).

    6. “it’s impossible to increase capacity and decrease cost”

      Not at all! In fact it’s already happened many times over. Nissan’s 30 kWh pack cost them much less than the 24 kWh pack did at introduction. The 2018 pack, 40 kWh *net*, will cost them less than the 30 kWh one did in 2016, and much less than the 24 kWh one in 2011-12.

      Cost per kWh almost automatically fall when capacity (more accurately energy density) increases. The main change from a manufacturing point of view is to use less materials, space and time per kWh storage capacity, so increasing density is in fact a main, if not THE main, driver towards lower cost.

      Of course this isn’t necessarily always so simple. If someone comes up with a radically innovative battery it could cost more or less than current ones due to different materials or machinery required. But this hypothetical new battery would be very unlikely to successfully penetrate the market if it does not offer a cost advantage per kWh, because more conventional (less risky) technology is already good enough in other respects. Obviously there are theoretical edge cases – we can imagine someone invents a battery that’s slightly more expensive per kWh than current ones, but has no capacity fade, much higher power density, is inherently safer, is smaller and lighter, cannot be damaged by overcharge or being too deeply discharged and so on, and a promising path towards lower cost in the future. But it seems to me much more likely a new battery technology would catch on if it offered significantly lower cost per kWh and otherwise could match li-ion (on density, capacity fade, safety and so on).

      Generally speaking it’s definitely correct to expect higher capacity AND lower price.

      Btw 20% per year for 3 years is 72.8%. At this rate a doubling takes about 3.5 years rather than 3, so the doubling in three years you find unreasonable isn’t much more than the 20% per year you find to be at the upper end of reasonable.

  2. Hi Pedro,

    Again a great job! I am looking at the “Advances in batteries” graph from VW and just out of curiosity it seems to me that the value 410Wh/l in 2017 is not correct. When I start from the left the 230Wh/l is the correct value for the 25Ah cell from Sanyo. But the 37Ah cell from Samsung SDI used in MY2017 e-Golf have only 340Wh/l certainly not 410Wh/l. This value equals to 45Ah cell in standard VW prismatic can.

    I also appreciate that VW is still one of the few that talks about volumetric density advances in lithium batteries.

    1. 😀 Thanks for clarification.

  3. By the time we get to there, they will already be of the map and non existent or in complete bankruptcy… Good bye VW..i will not be miss you …

  4. I would like to add some positive words about VW. Even by creating Roadmaps VW fastens building battery plants in Europe. I hope that CATL plans for European plant will result in start of construction. And I do hope that BYD and other LFP batterymaker will also think about it. I don’t want once to read about NMC/NCA batteries safety issues in mass produced cars and find out that there are no alternatives on the market…

  5. Talk is cheap. But if they really do launch 50 (or near) new BEVs before 2025, I’ll happily concede I’m currently too cynical.

    But it’s not like we haven’t heard this kind of talk from VW before. Remember they used to say they would be the market leader in electric cars “by 2018”..? They dropped that ball pretty quietly.

    In case you don’t recall, here’s a reminder:

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