Analysis: VW looks ahead after state's big investments
Sept. 22, 2017  Ted Evanoff, USA TODAY

(Photo: Tony Ding / AP)
(Photo: Erik Schelzig, Associated Press)

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 ... Just before heading to a major auto show in Frankfurt, VW brand chief
Herbert Diess told an inhouse Volkswagen publication the automaker’s future
compass will point directly to the new technology –  electric cars powered
entirely by batteries ...

"VW Chattanooga would love to be the plant producing electric vehicles in
North America but the company has not announced yet where they will go," VW
Chattanooga spokesman Scott Wilson said, adding, "We are definitely in the
running." ...

Electric future

At any rate, rocked by the dieselgate scandal, slow to respond to America’s
unbridled demand for sport-utilities and pickup trucks, VW is making sure it
does not miss the mark on what looks like the next sure bet – electric cars

“A company like Volkswagen must lead, not follow,” VW chief executive
Matthias Mueller said recently as he showed off electric car plans under the
code name Roadmap E. “We are setting the scene for the final breakthrough
for e-mobility.”

Tennessee taxpayers have bet heavily on VW’s success. It’s not certain what
Roadmap E will deliver the Chattanooga plant in terms of new product. But as
Americans warm to electric power, Chattanooga will likely get the call.

Aware that Tesla is trying to create a mass-market for electric cars, VW
execs pledged to spend $24 billion by 2030 gearing up an electric fleet and
surpass Tesla in zero-emissions performance. That’s not to say all 300
models and variants sold in various countries will run on electric motors.
Plans call for 80 electric models including the Volkswagen I.D. Crozz, a
crossover exepcted to debut in 2020 or 2021, and something not seen on the
highways since the hippie days of yore – a tiny VW van.

“The Microbus has long been part of the California lifestyle,” Diess told
reporters recently. “Now we’re bringing it back by reinventing it as an
electric vehicle."

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