VW’s electric push ‘can’t go any faster’, says CEO

(EurActiv, 7 Sep 2021) Volkswagen chief executive Herbert Diess said Monday (6 September) it was “impossible” for the German car giant’s electric transformation to happen any faster, but he accused Angela Merkel’s government of holding back change with generous diesel subsidies.

In an interview with AFP and the Financial Times at the IAA motor show in Munich, Diess said the VW group “was really fast in changing” as its sets its sights on becoming a global leader in environmentally-friendly, battery-powered vehicles.

“Can we do it faster? No, it’s impossible,” said Diess.

“Because this transition is so complicated, requires so much investment” and capacity building, he said, from battery cell production to new factories.

Germany’s biennial IAA exhibition comes as the industry is in the midst of a painful rebirth, spurred by climate concerns and tougher pollution rules.

Several carmakers have already set dates for phasing out the internal combustion engine, even if critics say their self-imposed deadlines are vague and non-binding.

Nevertheless, the clock is ticking with the European Union recently proposing to end the sale of new diesel and petrol cars by 2035.

The 12-brand VW group – which includes Audi, Porsche and Skoda – is pouring billions into the transition and aims to become the world’s largest electric carmaker by 2025.

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EurActiv, 7 Sep 2021: VW’s electric push ‘can’t go any faster’, says CEO