January 21, 2021

Volkswagen wants to be the Microsoft of the electric car | Economy

Volkswagen wants to be the Microsoft of the electric car | Economy

Microsoft he managed in the eighties that his Windows operating system unseat MS-Dos. The interface designed by Bill Gates became a gateway for millions of laymen of computer science and ended up turned into a kind of generic installed in most of the computers sold in the world. Volkswagen seems now to want to do something similar in the electric vehicle: On Monday, it announced its intention to transfer to third parties – after payment – the platform it has designed to successfully face its reconversion to the electric car.

Volkswagen plays with advantage. It is not the first manufacturer, nor the second nor the third, that disembarks in the plug-in business, but it is the one that at the moment is using its platform to launch more vehicles. Not only from the Volkswagen brand. The Czech Skoda will also use it, as Seat, which on Tuesday presented to the public at the Geneva Motor Show what will be its first electric, the el-Born. And with that same platform it expects to launch a first wave of 15 million electric, to achieve that by 2025 already account for 25% of its total sales.

With the announcement of this Monday, the German consortium tries to kill two birds with one stone. On the one hand, finance part of your investment in the electric vehicle. Of the 44,000 million euros planned for electrification, digitization, the autonomous car and the development of the mobility business, most of it, 30,000 million euros will be dedicated to electrification. But on the other hand, the company achieves the desired economies of scale that the sector is looking for to achieve an objective that, at the moment, suffers the industry: the ability to lower the price of the electric vehicle and democratize its use.

This is one of the biggest problems faced by the car manufacturers, who hope that the price of the electric vehicle will be reduced gradually in parallel to an increase in the price of cars powered by thermal engines, due to the investments that are being made to reduce forced marches emissions of polluting gases. Only the success in the market can free them from the fines that the European Union will impose on manufacturers if they do not lower the levels of CO2 emissions from their cars.

On Tuesday, the chairman of Seat, Luca de Meo, said that the price of that car, which will be launched in 2021, will be within the price range that is spent by 45% of the buyers of vehicles currently in Spain. And he stressed that the vehicle is born from the MEB platform, which Volkswagen will share with other participants and that during the most important automotive show in Europe was one of the claims on the stand of Audi, another of the group's brands.

During the announcement of the opening of the MEB to third parties, the group's CEO, Herbert Diess, said: "With the MEB platform, we are now transferring this successful concept to the electric era and opening it to other car manufacturers. as the standard for electric mobility. " The announcement coincided with the presentation of an attractive concept car shaped like a buggie, created on that modular platform. The use of this model as an advertisement photograph was a way of telling the market that it is a modular platform that can be useful for any vehicle, be it more or less crazy.

A German start-up specializing in electromobility, e.GO Mobile, will become the German giant's first customer. The question is whether the rest of the industry will be willing to accept the plight of one of the world's leading car manufacturers, which has just concluded an agreement with Ford to jointly develop commercial vehicles.

The industry is looking for solutions to hastily implement electric cars in the market, despite being aware that neither the autonomy of the batteries nor the network of charging points accompany their development.


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