You can’t get the right answer if you’re not asking the specific question. Here’s an example of just how that works: Mercury is the closest planet to Earth and every other planet in our Solar system – yes, even Pluto.
So with that in mind, let’s analyze VW’s two global announcements. At the 2019 Frankfurt Motorshow the company unveiled its the first production ready model from its I.D. Series that it first started teasing in 2016. ID.3 is slated for a second quarter 2020 debut, finally making it to our shores by early 2021.
The I.D. Series was developed as a direct response to #DieselGate and signified the world’s largest car manufacturer’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions and. It is also meant to be the brand’s biggest step towards electric mobility and ID.3 in particular is intended to be the best-selling EV on the planet with production levels forecasted to reach around a million cars per year.
Okay, some #DieselGate context for those who don’t know: in 2015 the US Environmental Protection Agency found evidence of hundreds of thousands of VW cars being fitted with a device that cheated the emissions tests. VW eventually admitted guilt and were fined billions of dollars for the crime – one EU study estimated that the extra nitrogen oxide that the engines were spewing into the air was enough to theoretically account for 1 500 related deaths.
So imagine my surprise when after posting record losses because of the slush fund the company needed to handle all the #DieselGate drama and suffering serious damage to the brand, VW announced the Golf 8 to the world. Delivery date? December 2019 for Europe and towards the end of 2020 for South Africa. And this happened in the same week that Tesla, the company VW is planning to eclipse in EV production with both companies targeting China as the battleground, proved the rumors of its demise to be overly exaggerated.
Climate change is now an imminent extinction level event and VW’s launch strategy proves that these auto industry dinosaurs are still prioritizing profit over taking responsibility for the problems they caused. The world does not need the Golf 8. All that means is that hundreds of thousands of people around the world will upgrade to the newer model, most likely from the perfectly fine Golf 7.5 they’re driving now and continue the consumption cycle.
The world needs fewer cars on the road, and better mobility solutions to replace the cars that remain. Governments need to handle the public transport and urban planning solutions, while private companies produce the smarter mobility solutions. In Germany, however, the government is propping up the labor market by incentivizing the automakers to keep churning out cars and missing emissions targets by huge margins.
Look, I understand that these companies are far too heavily invested in their trade and that a massive shift to EVs will costs a lot of money and wipe out many jobs, but come on Volkswagen. Would it have hurt the bottom line that much to delay the Golf 8 until after the ID.3 is on the road? I know the supply chains for Golfs are highly efficient and tooling for EV production will cause more emissions, but that’s the tax that needs to be paid for lying.
The best thing is that no-one besides me cares. The Golf 8 hype train has left the station and it’s PACKED! Through all this, my question remains: what will the automakers do when they need to start shifting Golf owners into ID.3s? How will they cope with losing out on the maintenance revenue from the dinosaur juice?
Remember: EVs have fewer moving parts, require almost no lubricants and, crucially, don’t need explosions for forward propulsion. The thing I needed to adjust to most when driving EVs was the deceleration when the car wants to recover energy during coasting. Electric cars don’t coast.
But clearly the traditional car manufacturers will coast on EVs for as long as they can. Dinosaur juice addiction is powerful.