The Volkswagen Group already has the Porsche Taycan and Audi e-tron electric cars, but it is only with the VW ID.3 volume model that the new drive era for the traditional German manufacturer is to really begin: the compact electric car is far cheaper than Tesla Model 3 and, according to VW, does not cost more than a combustion Golf when you buy it, and many more models from the VW brands are soon to follow on the same MEB platform. As Volkswagen announced this week, the date for the ID.3 market launch will be held this summer, albeit with software gaps. But, according to one expert, that doesn’t change the fact that Tesla is technically several years ahead of all other manufacturers.
Tesla “at least 3 years ahead”
According to reports, this assessment is also shared at Volkswagen. There is said to have been an inventory of electric cars in May, the result of which was that the ID series cannot yet keep up with the offers from Tesla. A star engineer at Audi is now to develop a “flagship” electric car with his own team and corporate resources by 2024 that can finally compete with Tesla. And at least among the German car manufacturers, VW should be the group that is closest to Tesla.
Nevertheless, the gap is large. Tesla is currently “at least three years ahead of all other car manufacturers,” said Stefan Bratzel of the Center of Automotive Management (CAR) at the Bergisch-Gladbach University of Applied Sciences in an interview with Handelsblatt (German newspaper) this week. That makes the electric car pioneer from California the benchmark for the entire industry. After all, Volkswagen CEO Hebert Diess admitted that Tesla has a significant lead when it comes to software and its use in its self-driving program, according to leaked internal communications.
Software at VW behind BMW and Daimler
The other way around, Bratzel sees the German competitor groups BMW and Daimler in terms of digital functions rather than Volkswagen, which has a hardware advantage in the form of the modern MEB base – even if the proof of their quality is still pending. There was a lot to read about software problems with the ID.3, but also with the new Golf. Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess is said to have complained about a persistent deficit against Tesla in this area; a little later he gave up the position as CEO of the VW brand.
On Wednesday, VW had announced that its ID.3 people’s electric car could actually be delivered this summer, as announced. If you don’t want to wait, you have to go to the workshop again at the beginning of 2021 to have two functions subsequently installed. Problems arise, among other things, with a state-of-the-art head-up display for the ID.3, as some drivers of a Tesla Model 3 and later Model Y would want due to the lack of displays behind the steering wheel.