Column: Volkswagen powers up for the electric vehicle revolution

LONDON (Reuters) – Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess is no Elon Musk but the German carmaker is following a path already traveled by Tesla as it gears up for the mass rollout of electric vehicles (EV).

A technical employee works at the production line for the electric Volkswagen model ID. 4, in Zwickau, Germany, September 18, 2020. REUTERS/Matthias Rietschel/File Photo
Even last week’s “Power Day”, a two-hour streaming event at which Diess explained the company’s EV strategy, seemed a conscious nod to Tesla’s “Battery Day” last September.

Like Tesla, Volkswagen has decided to take control of its own battery destiny by constructing six European gigafactories with collective annual capacity of 240 gigawatt hours (GWh) over the next decade. The announcement sent its shares into a Tesla-style frenzy.

Batteries are, quite literally, the driver of the e-mobility revolution and Volkswagen has clear ideas about what it wants and at what price as it prepares to transition from the internal combustion engine (ICE).

Its roadmap has major implications for battery metals such as lithium, cobalt, nickel and manganese.


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