Musk’s itinerary in Germany was confirmed by Tesla CEO himself on Twitter. What was not on the cards, though, was his surprise meeting with the Chairman of Volkswagen Group, Herbert Diess.
Mr. Diess hosted Musk at the Braunschweig Airport and the two executives conversed for two hours. Musk also had the opportunity to take the upcoming Volkswagen ID.3 for a spin.
Mr. Diess shared a brief video of Musk’s test-drive on his LinkedIn profile. The Tesla CEO had a positive feedback, stating that the ID.3’s steering was “pretty good” for a non-sports electric car.
Musk also inquired about several aspects of the ID.3, such as its battery pack and its driver-assist features. Mr. Diess stated the car is equipped with state-of-the-art lane-keeping and emergency-assist systems.
The ID.3 is the German manufacturer’s first EV from its MEB car platform. It has a 5-door hatchback body style, and has a maximum range of 550 kilometers. It was first unveiled at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, and is set to go into mass-production in 2021.
Volkswagen and Tesla partnering up in the near future?
Director of the Duisburg Center for Automotive Research Dr. Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer praised Tesla’s performance in a LinkedIn post.
Herbert Diess responded to the post by stating that “Elon Musk delivers results that many thought was impossible. They show that you can be profitable with electric cars.”
Mr. Diess added that “Tesla will drive through the Corona crisis without a loss quarter. It confirms me: In five to ten years the most valuable company in the world will be a mobility company – Tesla, Apple [AAPL] or Volkswagen.”
The German auto manufacturer has grand ambitions for its electric vehicles. Volkswagen plans to sell 1.5 million EVs by 2025. In 2019, the company delivered more than 140,000 EVs, whilst Tesla delivered approximately 367,500 vehicles.
Volkswagen believes that the COVID-19 pandemic will accelerate the transition towards the adoption of EVs. People are looking for a private means of transportation which shelters them from exposure to the virus.
The virus and the lockdowns that ensued have improved air quality around the world as fewer vehicles were on the road. As a result, People understand the importance of EVs since a decrease in gasoline-powered cars to cleaner air.
Additionally, charging stations for EVs can be installed directly at the customers’ homes. This eliminates the danger of infection at gas stations.
On the other hand, Elon Musk has openly praised Volkswagen’s endeavours to operate a shift towards EVs. Back in 2019, Elon Musk stated on Twitter that “Herbert Diess is doing more than any big carmaker to go electric.”
All in all, Tesla and Volkswagen are more than willing to collaborate and show their products to each other. Volkswagen has a well-documented problem with its MEB infrastructure concerning their ID cars.
Tesla, on the other hand, has established itself as a leading figure in terms of software and EV technology.
Last August, Musk declared that Tesla is willing to license its software and provide batteries and powertrains to other manufacturers. Musk also stated that Tesla is trying to accelerate sustainable energy, and has no intention of crushing competitors.
Automakers collaborating together are few and far between. A potential partnership between Tesla and Volkswagen to accelerate the democratization of EV use is a welcome change!