Feb 22, 2021 - 11:23 am

VW ups EV targets and may end Artemis

VW has reportedly tightened its electrification targets. According to a media report, the share of electric vehicles in 2030 will be significantly higher than previously planned. To achieve this, development tasks will also be redistributed among the group’s brands – this likely also affects Audi’s Artemis project.

The information on the tightened electric sales targets goes back to VW chief strategist Michael Jost. “In 2030, 70 per cent of all cars sold by the group should have purely electric drives,” Jost told the German Manager Magazin. Previously, the target for 2030 was an EV share of 50 per cent. The 20 additional percentage points would therefore correspond to around two million additional vehicles, given annual sales of around ten million vehicles.

In order to achieve this goal, VW is apparently also planning to change its platform strategy: instead of four model architectures, a central basic structure is to be used “for virtually all cars” in future, according to Manager Magazin. The ‘Scalable System Platform’ or SSP for short will primarily comprise the electronics, software and computer systems for the cars. The powertrain and battery systems can then be docked onto this core, according to the report.

If the unsourced information in the report is correct, this would not only affect the MEB in its current form, but also the group’s further product and platform strategy. However, the report does not contain any confirmation or denial on the part of VW.

Also without naming any specific sources, Manager Magazin reports on a first consequence of the strategy: the Artemis project based at Audi, which was supposed to develop a premium electric sedan by 2024, is apparently being relaunched. Although Audi had only launched the Artemis task force into a separate company in December (with project leader Alex Hitzinger as managing director), Audi is now said to have done a U-turn. The model, which is repeatedly referred to as the “Landjet” in reports, is to be looked after by the development organisation again in future. Managing director Alex Hitzinger is losing responsibility and is instead to look after the possible digital business surrounding the model.

As is the case with VW, Audi has not commented on the Artemis news. As soon as the Ingolstadt-based company responds to an enquiry from electrive.net, we will post the information here.

As Manager Magazin writes in another article, the “official reading” is that the concept phase has been completed. However, “in Ingolstadt” it is said that Hitzinger “disappointed”. He is said to have introduced too many wishes and ideas that were not suitable for profitable series production, the report says. However, the former motorsport developer was mentored by Audi CEO Markus Duesmann (also with a motorsport background) with the Artemis project, precisely because he does not think in terms of the usual restrictions of series production. Another point: “In addition, they had realised that individual models were not enough against Tesla.” With the platform strategy described above, proprietary solutions would indeed be counterproductive.

While VW develops a flat platform, is Audi undertaking the SUV?

The new division of tasks between Wolfsburg and Ingolstadt is said to be quite clear: VW is developing the appropriate platform modules for flat compact and mid-size cars in its Trinity project, on which sedans and estate models for the entire group are to be built, according to Manager Magazin. Audi, on the other hand, is developing SUV variants under the project name Apollon.

“We are already docked with Trinity,” explained Audi boss Markus Duesmann in an interview with Business Insider. The confidant of VW Group boss Herbert Diess went on to say: “We are working together on a sister model for Audi. There is a joint project house with Volkswagen and is exactly the cooperation within the group that we need.”

In the interview, Duesmann also stressed the importance of software and control units for the ambitious electrification targets. “You need a central EV computer architecture,” the Audi boss said. “And this technology for pure electric cars will be scaled across the entire product portfolio.”

Hitzinger had also taken part in the interview, for which a preliminary report was published on Monday, and is still titled as the head of project Artemis. Hitziner does express the platform idea there. “The computerised EV architecture is the heart of the future car. That will then be the true vehicle platform,” says Hitzinger. “So the decisive factor is the computing and the software platform. Both must be developed iteratively. And not from scratch again for each model.”

With reporting by Sebastian Schaal, Germany.

manager-magazin.demanager-magazin.debusinessinsider.de (all in German)

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Found on electrive.com
https://www.electrive.com/2021/02/22/vw-improves-ev-targets-while-artemis-may-be-facing-an-early-ending/
22.02.2021 11:01