VW shows why you’d be stupid to buy one of its ICE cars now


VW, the world’s largest producer of fossil-fueled vehicles (in terms of revenue), has produced a graph comparing its diesel offerings to its electric offerings, showing how, across several model lines, electric models come out on top in terms of total cost savings.

VW chart data is from Automatic zeitung, a German automotive magazine. The magazine carried out a series of tests of diesel and electric SUVs from various manufacturers, selecting the closest equivalents within each manufacturer and pitting them against each other in terms of specifications and total cost of ownership.

Then VW took this data and produced its own table, focusing on vehicles produced by the brands they own (VW, Skoda and Audi – the magazine also tested a BMW and a Mercedes, with similar results. ). In any case, the electric version not only starts at a lower price, but has significantly lower operating costs, resulting in total monthly costs up to 50% higher for diesel compared to EV.

The graph was shared by VW CEO Herbert Diess on LinkedIn, who said “it’s time to go” electric:

These data come from Germany, so they take into account local purchase prices, German incentives (subsidies for electric vehicles, dealer discounts for diesel versions), German energy costs (which are high, both for electric and diesel), insurance, taxes, etc. to. Automatic zeitungThe s data also took into account depreciation and maintenance costs, although these were not factored into the VW table. The final cost per km and the cost per month are the same as Automatic zeitung, despite these omissions in the table.

The calculations will be different from place to place, but the general trend around the world is that electric vehicles are almost always cheaper to power, and end-user purchase prices are often comparable between cars. gasoline to similar specifications and their electric versions.

The most significant thing to note is that this table was made public by VW CEO Herbert Diess, whose company produces as many cars as any company in the world (Toyota and VW have almost identical unit sales. ). Over 96% of VW’s unit sales so far this year have been fueled by fossil fuels. Although electrics make up such a small portion of VW’s sales, Diess still chose to make it known that the vast majority of his company’s cars are too expensive compared to their closest electric competitors. This is quite a statement.


One thing that keeps incumbent manufacturers from pushing electric vehicles is that most of their sales come from gasoline vehicles. Since a large majority of their income comes from gasoline vehicles, they fear losing those sales to servicing a powertrain that makes up a tiny fraction of their total business.

But that’s the thing – those sales are going somewhere anyway. If VW and other manufacturers don’t cannibalize their own sales, someone else will take them. When manufacturers don’t offer a compelling electric version of their vehicles, EV buyers will simply turn to another manufacturer – and that customer just won’t come back once they’ve tasted the superior experience of owning. an electric car.

Voltswagen seems to understand this. While it still sells a disappointing number of gasoline-powered cars, all of which will continue to pollute the air for years to come, it leads other historic manufacturers in EV investments and planned EV deployments. And VW CEO Herbert Diess recently met with Tesla CEO Elon Musk to rally VW senior management on EVs. Diess in particular deserves a lot of credit for his advocacy and vision here – although we can still rush him a bit. VW still isn’t moving fast enough, but at least it’s not pulling a Toyota.

Diess is right when he says “it’s time for a change”. For many years people wondered when “price parity” would be reached for electric vehicles, usually setting the date at some point in the future. But that date is already there. Automatic zeitungThe figures show that for similar vehicles, the electric vehicle is cheaper to own.

But the phrase “like vehicles” does a lot of work in this sentence, because are they really that similar? Electric cars are much more fun to drive and own than their gasoline-powered counterparts, and the vast majority of electric car owners will tell you that the ownership experience is so much better and that they aren’t interested in going back. . And the math only gets better for EVs as each month passes and the world turns more toward electrification.

So here we have vehicles with similar specs / options, but the EV has a lower starting price, lower ownership price, and better experience. So what is everyone waiting for? It’s time to change.

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