After the emissions scandal and corona crisis, things did not look good for the German automotive industry for a long time.
But now the conversion towards e-mobility is picking up speed.
That's not good news for Tesla.
Wolfsburg / Munich / Stuttgart - In spring 2020 everything looked as if the German automotive industry would have a real crisis year ahead of it.
But contrary to all expectations, many car manufacturers were able to avert large losses and in some cases even make substantial profits.
Instead of just saving and cushioning the damage of the corona pandemic, the three major German automobile manufacturers are investing in their electric offensive and are sending a clear signal to Tesla.
VW, BMW and Daimler are accelerating the e-offensive
Volkswagen * in particular made headlines in recent weeks with its e-offensive.
After the announcement that total sales of e-cars in Europe would be increased to 70 percent by 2030, the next announcement followed on Monday.
At the “Power Day” VW announced that it would build six so-called gigafactory factories for electric batteries in Europe.
By 2030, the factories are to produce battery cells with a total energy content of 240 gigawatt hours per year.
Following the example of Tesla, VW wants to increase the number of fast charging stations in Europe fivefold to 18,000.
In addition, some of the VW Group's plants are to be fully converted to the production of e-cars.
The Seat plant in Martorell, Spain, for example, will only build electric cars in the future.
The auto experts at the major Swiss bank UBS declared "VW is the manufacturer with the most aggressive electric car strategy in the world".
VW, Daimler and BMW: Long behind Tesla
Tesla * has long been considered inviolable.
For years it seemed that the Californian electric car manufacturer had an unassailable technological lead over traditional manufacturers.
Especially in the area of software development, many observers saw no chance for VW, BMW * and Daimler to catch up.
These circumstances ultimately led to Tesla becoming as valuable as the ten largest traditional automobile manufacturers in the world put together.
The American electric car manufacturer will still be the top dog on the electric car market for a long time, but VW and Co. are increasingly breaking free from their inertia with their e-offensive.
VW, Daimler and BMW: The switch to electric cars is coming
BMW recently changed its strategy and now wants to rely on its own electric car platform.
Instead of relying on a uniform architecture as before, with which BMW can produce technologically broadly and flexibly, the Munich-based company is now also concentrating on the production of electric cars.
In addition, CEO Oliver Zipse * announced a sales target for electric cars for the first time at a non-public BMW event.
According to this, the Munich-based company wants to make 50 percent of its sales worldwide with fully electric vehicles by 2030.
Until recently, only 20 percent of all cars sold should have a pure electric or hybrid drive.
The MINI * will be the first models to be converted entirely to electric drive from 2030.
The SUV iX and Coupé i4 are due to appear this year.
The 7 Series BMW will follow in 2022 with a fully electric version.
In addition to BMW, Daimler is also relying on the electrification of its own portfolio.
Mercedes-Benz is expected to sell more than 50 percent electric and hybrid cars from around 2030.
In addition, the Swabians set themselves the goal of producing the Mercedes new vehicle fleet by 2039 in a CO2-neutral manner.
In addition, Mercedes wants to electrify its entire portfolio by 2022.
This means that different electric alternatives should be offered in every segment from mid-range cars to SUVs.
As a result, sales of electronically operated vehicles are expected to grow to 15 to 25 percent as early as 2025.
E-cars the market of the future?
The market for electric cars in Europe continues to grow, but the question is: how sustainable is the growth?
In 2020, three times as many e-cars were registered as in the previous year.
But the demand is likely to be fueled by the state purchase premiums.
The federal government subsidizes the purchase of an electric car with up to 9,000 euros and the purchase of a plug-in hybrid with up to 6,750 euros.
Even if interest in e-cars grows, doubts remain.
According to a survey by the Allensbach opinion research institute, 55 percent of those questioned said that buying an electric car would not be an option for them.
The reasons for the reservations about electric cars can be found mainly in the poor infrastructure and the often inadequate range.
* Merkur.de is part of IPPEN.MEDIA.