Home News Tesla’s mission takes a leap forward with VW, Daimler, and BMW’s serious pledge to EVs

Tesla’s mission takes a leap forward with VW, Daimler, and BMW’s serious pledge to EVs

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Tesla’s mission takes a leap forward with VW, Daimler, and BMW’s serious pledge to EVs

The automobile industry saw something historical occur last week in Germany. In a rare act of unity, the leaders of the country’s big three Automakers; Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche, and BMW CEO Harald Krüger, all agreed that the future of German automobile is the electric car. Over the next decade, each CEO would be pushing their respective companies to shift and embrace the notion of an electrified fleet.

No (more) compromises

The deal did not come easy. The Volkswagen CEO caused waves among German automakers and suppliers after he called for the widespread adoption of electric cars and a mass investment in EV charging infrastructure. The VW CEO’s proposal was bold: he wanted the German auto industry to concentrate solely on EVs, and he cautioned that he would be “evaporating billions” to do so. The proposal was met with lots of criticism, from both fellow automakers and suppliers. In response, Volkswagen threatened to leave the industry lobby group Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) due to its refusal to commit to an electric-first strategy.

BMW CEO Harald Krüger was particularly critical of Volkswagen’s proposal, which resulted in what industry insiders described as heated discussions between the two executives. Krüger’s reservations are clear, as Volkswagen’s needs don’t favor BMW. One of Diess’ requests called for free charging advantages for electric car owners whose vehicles cost less than 20,000 euros. This benefits Volkswagen, which is aiming to create an affordable electric car, but not companies like BMW and Daimler, who, on average, make more expensive vehicles.

Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche, and BMW CEO Harald Krüger. (Credit: Electrive)Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche, and BMW CEO Harald Krüger. (Credit: Electrive)

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Despite these headwinds, a brief but purposeful call last Wednesday sealed the deal for Das Auto’s electric car initiatives. Insiders from news book Handelsblatt noted that after ten minutes, the Volkswagen, BMW, and Daimler CEOs were practically on the same page, and by the end of the 40-minute conference call, the three executives have found a middle ground. The agent of the VDA dubbed the assembly as “constructive,” and the lobby group has said that it’s expecting the three producers to work out a consensus paper in the near future.

Aside from advocating for electromobility, The firms also decided to forego commitments to other forms of alternative propulsion, such as hydrogen fuel cells. In a statement to media book welt.de, BMW member of the board Klaus Fröhlich mentioned that a breakthrough in hydrogen fuel cell cars is unlikely within the next decade, particularly as charging infrastructure for electric vehicles is growing at a rate where long-distance travel will soon be a non-issue. “The likelihood of a hydrogen infrastructure developing in parallel is extremely low,” Fröhlich said.

A LinkedIn article composed by the Volkswagen CEO outlined his points as follows. “In order to stop global warming, there is no way around the Paris climate goals. To do this, the car has to become cleaner as soon as possible and CO2-free by 2050 at the latest. E-mobility is the only technology that’s feasible from today’s perspective. I am convinced that if we concentrate all our energies on the leading technology of electromobility, we will attain both: the car will become cleaner in the short term and CO2-free in the long term. And the auto country Germany is going to be the world leader in driving the future,” Diess wrote.

All According to the (Master) Plan

The Tesla Model S, Model X, and Model 3.

While Germany’s commitment to electromobility is undoubtedly impressive, it should be noted that the improvements and milestones of the electric motor and electric car batteries over the past years will be the catalysts that initiated this change. Electric mobility advocate Auke Hoekstra notes that electric motors are pretty much the only superior alternative to the internal combustion engine nowadays, in the way that they are smaller, lighter, cheaper, practically maintenance-free, and around four times more efficient. It should also be noted that it took the efforts of a daring Silicon Valley electric car company to demonstrate the industry that electric mobility is feasible.

Elon Musk has ever noted that Tesla exists to accelerate the world’s transition to renewable energy. Back in 2006, he published his first Master Plan, which involved the production of electric cars which are so compelling for auto buyers; the behemoth that’s traditional auto will begin shifting its efforts to electric mobility. Tesla’s first car, the first Roadster, was mostly a proof-of-concept in this sense, since it’s a vehicle that simply proved the notion that electric cars can be just as fast, sexy, and desirable as the next Porsche or Ferrari. The Model S and Model X took the company’s mission further, proving that electric cars are not just comparable to their fossil fuel-powered counterparts; they could be far better. Loaded to the teeth with technology, the crossover and sedan (hence the Model “S” and “X” moniker) were powerful, but they still only catered to the higher end of the market.

Tesla shook the automobile industry with the Model 3, a vehicle that practically took the company and its CEO inches away from ruin. Elon Musk described the Model 3 ramp among the most painful periods of his career, and objectively speaking, he was correct. Musk wager Tesla’s whole future in the Model 3, and if it wasn’t for his own willingness to sacrifice his own comfort (Musk returned to sleeping under a table in Tesla’s Fremont factory at the peak of the Model 3’s “generation hell”) and clever, out-of-the-box solutions from remarkable executives such as current President of Automotive Jerome Guillen (who created the notion of producing another Model 3 meeting line inside a sprung structure) Tesla would have dropped. Months later, the Model 3 would eventually become the United States’ best-selling luxury vehicle of 2018, and over the first quarter of 2019, the electric sedan would start to take over Europe and China. At this time, it’s no exaggeration to say that the Model 3, with its track-capable motors and battery, is pretty much the gold standard of electric vehicles today.

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A Mission Achieved

Elon Musk and Tesla signifies a fast-moving target for the automobile industry.

With the behemoth that’s German Auto now awakened and committing itself fully towards electric mobility, will Tesla eventually be trampled under the giants’ feet? Not necessarily. Tesla still functions like a Silicon Valley startup, moving fast, making mistakes, and fixing mistakes on the go. The end result of this work culture, coupled with extensive experience with the electric motor and batteries, is a carmaker that moves incredibly fast. Thus, by the time the German automakers come up with vehicles that can challenge the Model 3 in its current iteration in terms of technology, features, and specs, Tesla would most likely have enhanced its vehicles farther . It’s incredible to see traditional automakers finally commit to electric cars, but in terms of beating Tesla, it would suffice to say that it would be rather tricky to trample a company which stubbornly refuses to stay still.

When asked by 60 Minutes host Lesley Stahl when he would be amenable to other carmakers beating Tesla at its own game, Elon Musk candidly said that so long as the world’s shift to electric transportation is secured, he would be able to sleep well at night. “If somebody comes and makes a much better electric car than Tesla and it’s so much better than ours which we could ’t sell our cars, and we go bankrupt, I still think that’s a fantastic thing for the world,” Musk said, to the surprise of the veteran host. This is one of those things that’s fascinating about Tesla and Elon Musk. Both the company and its CEO are fighting tooth and nail every day to satisfy its next ridiculously tough target; but beyond those struggles, Musk and Tesla are completely aware that the fight is much bigger than them. A future that’s not dependent on fossil fuels is a far larger cause.

It took a while before Germany’s biggest car conglomerates saw the writing on the wall. Now that they have, it would not be surprising at all if the automobile industry does begin a full embrace of electric mobility. China is already waist-deep in its EV initiatives, and with Germany doing the same, it would be hard for the internal combustion engine to remain relevant in the decades to come. One could only hope that the United States’ big three, Ford, GM, and Fiat-Chrysler, will follow. Tesla is already based in the US, and its patents are open-sourced. At this time, the writing is now in large, bold letters, and it would be foolish to insist that electric mobility is “not yet prepared ” or “not feasible. ” As for Tesla, one can only hope that the company had learned its lessons with the Model 3 because it tries to create the Model Y, an even more ambitious vehicle that will compete in one of the world’s most lucrative markets.

The post Tesla’s assignment requires a leap forward with VW, Daimler, and BMW’s serious pledge to EVs appeared initially on TESLARATI.

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