Earlier this week, Volkswagen announced something rather radical. With the German outfit still suffering as a result of the recent #dieselgate scandal, and with its sales growth still dropping significantly behind its European rivals, it has been recognised that a significant change in business model might be required in order to begin to restore the brand name’s former glory.
Matthias Mueller, chief executive of the European giant has stated his hopes for electric vehicles to make up 20-25 percent of VW vehicle sales by 2025. Quoting from the press release: “With regard to vehicles, and drivetrains, special emphasis will be place on e-mobility. The Group is planning a broad-based initiative in this area: it intends to launch more than 30 purely battery-powered electric vehicles (BEVs) over the next ten years.” To give that a real world figure, Volkswagen plan to sell 2-3 million electric cars, potentially spanning across more than 30 models, within the next nine years.
This may at first seem like a bit of a tall order, even for Volkswagen, but if we were to just take a step back for a minute and give this some perspective, it may not seem all that impossible. Let’s have a look at the Toyota Prius C, which has been on sale around Asia and America since 2011. Toyota has already managed to sell almost 1.3 million examples of this model, and it hasn’t even been five years in production yet.
Yes, yes, I know the Prius C isn’t strictly an electric car; it is indeed only a hybrid. However, this does give a good indication that the market for electric cars is out there, and only increasingly so. And, if Toyota can sell 1.3 million units of a single model in five years, does it now seem so inconceivable that Volkswagen might be able to sell 2-3 million units spread across 30 different models? We shall just have to wait and see…!