VW’s Tesla attack gets real as e-car sales begin; start-up Sono Motors hits 10,000 pre-orders
Bloomberg / Clean Energy Wire
Volkswagen is about to find out whether consumers will back its 30-billion-euro strategy to topple Tesla as the electric car leader, write Chris Reiter and Christoph Rauwald in an article for Bloomberg. The world’s largest carmaker is now taking 1,000-euro deposits to secure one of the first in a new range of battery-powered models. The new ID.3 hatchback – touted by VW as an electric successor to the iconic Beetle – will start at less than 30,000 euros, roughly the same level as the diesel variant of its best-selling Golf hatchback. “We are not playing,” VW sales chief Juergen Stackmann said at a launch event. “This is the car to beat for the future, for all our competitors.” Assembly is slated to begin later this year, with deliveries starting in mid-2020.
The ID.3 will also face competition from entirely new players: Crowdfunded mobility startup Sono Motors has hit the 10,000 mark for preorders of its PV-clad model, Sion, which will cost 25,500 euros. Sono Motors wants to start production in the second half of 2020, powered entirely by renewable energy sources.
Volkswagen has repeatedly accelerated its rollout of zero-emission cars. It now wants to launch almost 70 new electric models by 2028 and expects to build 22 million electric vehicles in the next decade. Environmental NGOs have called VW’s decarbonisation plan a “game changer for the automotive industry.”