Auto industry shift to EVs too soon, says VW Group CEO   

Updated May 16, 2022 | Same topic: Automotive Industry Updates

The primary concern is not with demand, but with the infrastructure. 

Even as automakers are steadily falling in line for the electrification train, there are those who believe that the transition is moving at a faster pace than necessary. Among them is Volkswagen, one of the world’s biggest automakers. 

2020 Volkswagen e-up!

Volkswagen believes that EV infrastructure needs to keep up with consumer demand

Speaking at the Financial Times’ Future of the Car summit, Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess warned against the auto industry going all in on electric vehicles (EVs) too soon. In his view, there are challenges in switching exclusively to electric power for now, particularly with the infrastructure for manufacturing and operating EVs. 

“Everything will be there for growth, but it takes huge investment and time to achieve. We need the correct plants to be modified or built, the battery production capacity to be available, and build a secure, sustainable supply chain,” he said. “The customer needs the correct infrastructure to be put in place to live with the cars.” 

Diess believes that the current EV infrastructure in place is struggling to keep up with soaring consumer demand. There are also countries which have been slow to adopt an EV roadmap, one example of which is the Philippines which only recently had Republic Act 11697 or the Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act (EVIDA) lapse into law.        

Toyota president Akio Toyoda

Toyota president Akio Toyoda is pushing for other alternatives aside from electrification 

Volkswagen’s position echoes that of fellow automotive heavyweight Toyota, which is pursuing parallel efforts into developing hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCVs). Toyota president Akio Toyoda said that carbon neutrality is about keeping options open, as a full-on shift to EVs could potentially affect 5.5 million auto workers in Japan.

Despite the concerns raised by Diess, he is confident that Volkswagen’s investments have put it in a position to be the global leader in EV sales by 2025, sounding like a shot across the bow of current EV champion Tesla. Diess acknowledged, however, that his company had not anticipated the speed with which its main U.S. rival has grown.     

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Joseph Paolo Estabillo

Joseph Paolo Estabillo

Author

Joseph holds a degree in Journalism from the University of the Philippines Diliman and has been writing professionally since 1999. He has written episodes for CNN Philippines' motoring show Drive, and has worked on corporate projects for MG Philippines and Pilipinas Shell. Aside from being Philkotse.com’s Content Lead, he also writes content for numerous car dealerships in the U.S., spanning multiple brands such as Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Maserati, among others.

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