In the growing EV market, two leaders have emerged — VW and Tesla — and both are competing now in each other’s home market, an article from NBC News says. Only just last month, Tesla officially began production at its Berlin-based factory, located only an hour away from the headquarters of Volkswagen AG, the leading EV manufacturer in Europe.
According to NBC News, VW makes up 25 percent of EV sales compared to 13 percent for Tesla, but Tesla’s new factor is expected to bring “significant growth.” Tesla’s “Gigafactory” comes from “Giga,” the unit of measurement for billions. Tesla began construction of the Gigafactory in 2014, and it’s expected to be the largest building in the world once it’s completed, measuring more than 1.9 million square feet. It will also be powered exclusively by renewable energy sources. The facilities are being built in phases. Currently, the Gigafcatory is 30 percent done. In order to meet their production goal of 500,000 cars per year, Tesla will need the entire supply of lithium-ion batteries in today’s world; the Gigafactory is Tesla’s solution to this demand challenge.
Conversely, Volkswagen just announced plans last month to invest $7.1 billion in its production facilities in North America — where Tesla is the leader in EV sales — for its 100% electric models such as the ID.Buzz microbus. The company is investing more money in its electric vehicle production than any other company, a sum that’s expected to reach $1000 billion by 2030.
NBC News writes, “That will fund the shift away from internal combustion engines — which are powered by old-fashioned gasoline — for 14 different brands. That includes the entry-level Seat and Skoda to exotic marques such as Porsche and Lamborghini. Its Audi and Bentley brands have already laid out plans to be 100 percent electric by the end of this decade, with others, including the flagship Volkswagen marque, set to follow soon afterward.”
These massive investments by both Tesla and Volkswagen — not to mention by other leading automakers such as FM, Volve, Ford, Honda, Toyota, and the Hyundai Motor Group — are a strong indication that a future of zero-emission vehicles will come to fruition. While EVs currently comprise 3% of car sales, car dealerships and OEMs should be doing everything they can now to get ready to meet the increase in consumer demand for EVs in the coming years.