Volkswagen AG plans to give an update on batteries next week at an event echoing a
Tesla Inc. briefing that helped
boost its share price last year.
Chief Executive Officer Herbert Diess sent out the invitation to VWs first Power Day event on March 15 using his Twitter and LinkedIn accounts on Tuesday. Please note: This is not a car presentation, he said.
Diess, 62, made his Twitter debut early this year and promptly engaged in some
good-natured ribbing of Elon Musk. Teslas CEO has been on the platform almost a dozen years and has used it to great effect to promote what is now far and away the worlds most valuable automaker. The company spends an
immaterial amount of money on traditional advertising.
VWs Diess has been active since joining the social network in January, mixing it up with the likes of former
Siemens AG CEO Joe Kaeser and
Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates. He has accumulated more than 25,400 followers, well behind Musks 48.7 million.
Boosting battery expertise and securing sufficient supplies will be vital for Europes largest automaker to deliver on plans for the industrys biggest fleet of electric vehicles. At the VW brand, the ID.4 SUV is joining the ID.3 hatchback this year and will be sold in China and North America in addition to Europe.
VWs other divisions also are boosting their electric offerings, with the premium Audi and Porsche brands as well as the Skoda and Seat units rolling out EV models this year. VW intends to roughly double the share of its global sales that are purely battery-powered cars to between 6% and 8% in 2021 and
narrow the volume gap to Tesla.
Still, getting enough batteries is a challenge for many manufacturers as demand is surging especially in Europe in China. VWs designated battery supplier in the U.S.,
SK Innovation Co. Ltd, is embroiled in a legal spat with rival
LG Chem Ltd. that risks undermining supplies.
UBS Group AG analysts praised VWs electric-car technology last week after a
teardown of the ID.3. They also cautioned that there are still deficits in battery cost and IT hard- and software vs. Tesla. The VW brands newly unveiled
strategy update focuses on making a big leap in this area, UBS said in a note on Monday.
VW teamed up with Swedish startup
Northvolt AB to make batteries in Europe and is an early backer of solid-state battery specialist
QuantumScape Corp., which
listed in the U.S. last year.
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