Spare parts not included.
We don’t wish anyone to get a flat tyre, but especially not if you are driving a 2016 Chevy Volt – because you might be in for a bad surprise. It turns out that the manufacturer forgot to include the Inflator Kit in some units, which replaces the spare tyre in the boot. Let’s hope you have some type of road assistance or make it to a Chevy dealer to pick up a kit free of charge.
Martin Winterkorn, Ivan Drury.
“Technological leadership is no longer solely defined in terms of horsepower and torque.”
Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn announced that the carmaker wants to offer 20 additional electric or plug-in hybrid variants of its cars by 2020, thus taking trusted Volkswagen quality “into a new, digital world.”
“The largest challenge set forth by Tesla against all entrants into the pure electric market is that the benchmarks have already been set, and the bar is rather high.”
Ivan Drury, senior manager at U.S. automotive website Edmunds.com, says the fascination with Tesla not only stems from them being at the forefront of the electric vehicle market, but also that they got there without compromising style or performance.
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Martin Winterkorn, Jean-Pierre Diernaz, Steve Gooding
“Volkswagen is doing intensive research in Silicon Valley in California for the super-battery, which will be cheaper, smaller and more powerful. An electric VW which can drive 300 kilometres electrically already is in sight.”
VW CEO Martin Winterkorn is confident that Volkswagen is on top of developments concerning EV technology. In an interview with Bild am Sonntag, he described the 300-kilometre as a “quantum leap” for electric cars.
techfieber.de (in German), hybridcars.com (background)
“Every single city is looking at something, whether now or in the near future, in terms of ultra-low emission zones. This will be a massive problem for companies making deliveries in these cities and their solution will be e-mobility.”
Nissan EV director, Jean-Pierre Diernaz, sees regulations for improving air quality in cities as a game changer for EV uptake. London plans the ULEV zone by 2020 and when Paris banned diesel vehicles for a few days, Nissan saw a peak in traffic to its website’s EV section.
“For the time being that is still dependent on a government grant. The challenge for manufacturers will be to offer economically attractive options when the grants get reined in.”
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, comments on the current success of the British Plug-in Car Grants. So far, 29,469 electric vehicles have benefitted from the government scheme on the Isles.
Martin Winterkorn, Klaus Fröhlich, Ian Wright, Karl Brauer.
“We can and we should learn from each other.”
Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn is decidedly against seeing the Silicon Valley, namely Apple and Google, being opposed to the “old world” of automotive companies. He calls for mutual appreciation and cooperation instead.
onvista.de (in German)
“The upcoming 3-series plug-in hybrid will offer almost all of the characteristics of an electric vehicle.”
Board member for R&D at BMW, Klaus Fröhlich, is expecting rising electrification in the company’s vehicles and went on to add that the “fourth generation” of electric power trains is already under development with a fifth at planning stage.
“It’s pretty lonely out here which is great.”
Wrightspeed CEO Ian Wright is one of the few that openly enjoys a monopoly position in its market for range extended EV power trains for medium and heavy duty trucks.
“Between launching in China and launching the new Model X, Tesla is reaching a critical make-or-break point.”
Karl Brauer, senior analyst with Kelley Blue Book, sees the Californian carmaker at a critical stage in its development, especially as Tesla is facing difficulties in China.
Martin Winterkorn, Sergio Marchionne, Harald Kroeger.
“If these two companies intend to solely produce electric vehicles, it could go fast.”
Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn here comments on Apple’s and Google’s electric car projects which he seems to take seriously. However, he does trust that even the iPhone generation will opt for the right car from the right manufacturer in the end…
“It’s exactly what this industry needed: a disruptive interloper. It’s a good thing but when you are one of the guys whose life is being disrupted then you are not necessarily looking forward to the event.”
Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobile, does welcome the competition from the computer world for the EV market as a whole but also sees Apple and Google as what they might become: guys to lose market share to or to run after.
“There are literally thousands of scientists working on the problem. A breakthrough happened with lithium-ion technology not long ago when it wiped out nickel-hydride, and another one will come soon.”
Harald Kroeger, Mercedes’ VP of electronics and e-drive, believes a breakthrough in battery technology is near and could double EV range in about ten years time.
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Martin Winterkorn, Craig Scott, Ian Wright.
“I imagine Apple or Google could be successful in building low-speed electric vehicles. But for everything that goes faster than 100 kilometres per hour, you need to understand the rules of physics and not only master digitalisation.”
VW head Martin Winterkorn compares Google’s EVs to golf carts, saying that those can be made by manufacturers with little knowledge about cars – one has to wonder how relevant fast cars really are outside of the “Autobahn” nation.
stern.de (in German)
“Toyota is a big company, but we can’t create this on our own. So it is important to help speed the development of the technology. And what better way than to share 22 years of learning with the industry?”
Craig Scott, national manager of advanced technologies of Toyota Motor Sales, explains the carmaker’s decision to open its patents on hydrogen fuel cell technologies. He sees the move as an opportunity to work on “global problems” together.
“We wanted to change people’s perception about electric cars. People thought they were golf carts. They don’t think that anymore.”
Ian Wright, head of Wrightspeed and co-founder of Tesla now wants to target garbage trucks, offering an electric solution for the sector. According to Wright, consumer cars “don’t burn enough fuel.”
Martin Winterkorn, Sae-Hoon Kim, Elon Musk.
“Lowering the price of battery cells to 100 euros (124 dollars) per kilowatt hour would significantly increase the market potential of electric vehicles. And if we also improve reliability and battery lifespan, customer acceptance will grow fast.”
Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn sees great potential for solid-state batteries, which possibly could boost EV range to as much as 700 km (435 miles). If the nickel content is increased, Li-ion batteries could also benefit from a higher energy density.
“It is under discussion about which will be the next fuel cell model, and when, but it is not true that Hyundai is the fuel-cell company while Kia is for electric vehicles.”
According to Sae-Hoon Kim, head of research and development for fuel cell vehicles at Hyundai-Kia, battery and fuel cell technologies are meant for both companies. But as long as volumes are still low, Hyundai and Kia do not want to compete.
“Part of the reason why we don’t release the monthly deliveries number is just because it varies quite a lot by region and the media tends to read all sorts of nonsense into the deliveries.”
Elon Musk explains why Tesla doesn´t publish its sales figures on a monthly basis. He had been asked during an investment call, if he ever planned to do so.
Martin Winterkorn, Chetan Maini.
“We will not back down.”
VW head Martin Winterkorn does not see his competitors such as Tesla or Google as a threat. Au contraire, since it is them who will have to play catch-up with VW’s experience and know-how.
automobilwoche.de (in German)
“To me the question should be why can’t every vehicle be electrical?”
Chetan Maini, CEO of Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicle, wants to create a cultural shift. For him, islands are the perfect place for electric vehicles and he could see Bermuda as leading the way in going 100 percent electric.
Dieter Zetsche, Ferdinand Piëch, Martin Winterkorn.
“With Tesla, we are already implementing strategies and will continue to do so in the future. Investing in Tesla was one of the best things we ever did.”
At the opening of the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG, praised the California-based carmaker and its plans. Could this mean that Daimler will take part in Tesla’s Gigafactory?
automobil-produktion.de (in German)
“In my garage is no space for this.”
Speaking at the opening of the Geneva Motor Show, Volkswagen patriarch Ferdinand Piëch has once again come out as the dinosaur of the German automotive industry. When asked about Tesla he stated: “We don’t need burning cars.”
German newspaper ‘Handelsblatt’, 05.03.2014, p. 47
“Further high-efficiency models such as the Audi A8, A6 and Q7 or the plug-in hybrid version of the Volkswagen Passat are to follow soon. Because this technology has a future.”
Volkswagen-CEO Martin Winterkorn said in his remarks prior to the opening of the 2014 Geneva Motor Show that the Group’s assembly kits (such as the MQB platform) could easily allow for the electrification of more than 40 models in the coming years.