Source: Clean Energy Wire, 2020-03-27
The mass production of VW's flagship e-car model ID.3 is being hampered by major difficulties that could thwart the carmaker’s goal of becoming a leader in electric mobility, Stefan Mayr and Angelika Slavik write in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. VW, Germany's largest carmaker, previously announced it would start sales of the model next summer and ramp up production to 100,000 by the end of the year, but company sources said the ID.3 is "far away from being market-ready" due to ongoing problems with the car's software. The future of VW CEO Herbert Diess might hinge on the e-car model's success and a mass roll-out of the ID.3 is also needed to improve the carmaker's fleet emissions, which need to be lowered substantially to comply with EU regulation, the authors say.. "Only if VW manages to actually put 100,000 cars on the road will it be able to avoid fines." According to the article, VW is struggling to recruit IT-professionals needed to solve the ID.3's software problems, meaning the car might be marketed in a "radically downgraded" version in the coming months. According to a company source, VW could "craft a few hand-made models" by summer to meet the announced deadline, but this "has nothing to do with serial production."
Under CEO Diess, VW has embraced electric mobility more vigorously than most other carmakers, initiating a major transformation in its business in the aftermath of the Dieselgate emissions cheating scandal. The ID.3, is its first fully electric model, is based on a new vehicle platform that forms the basis for its huge electric ambitions.