German carmaker Volkswagen wants to tap a projected 350 gigawatt hours of storage capacity in electric car batteries to go head to head with energy companies.
Chief strategist Michael Jost told media at an event on Thursday in Berlin that Volkswagen, which is planning for 25% of its sales to be electric by 2025, was aiming to go from 350 gigawatt hours of battery storage by 2025 to 1 terawatt by 2030.
“By 2025 we will have 350 gigawatt hours worth of energy storage at our disposal through our electric car fleet. Between 2025 and 2030 this will grow to 1 terawatt hours worth of storage,” Jost was quoted as saying by Reuters on Friday.
“That’s more energy than is currently generated by all the hydroelectric power stations in the world. We can guarantee that energy will be used and stored and this will be a new area of business.”
It’s an ambitious plan, but while Swiss investment bank UBS on Monday said it expects Volkswagen will be the first global carmaker to make a profit from EVs starting from 2022, its prediction on sales is only 15.6% according to Forbes.
Volkswagen has even admitted that it is behind Tesla by 10 years, although it expects to close that gap.
But Thomas Ulbrich, the Volkswagen brand’s head of electromobility said on Thursday according to Reuters that Tesla’s head start is motivating for the German carmaker.
“Tesla is an impressive manufacturer,” Ulbrich said. “It is a motivator for us. Tesla has 10 years more experience. But we are very quick in catching up.”
Volkswagen has already mad headway on providing electricity to customers through its brand Elli (“electric life”), offering a combination of “intelligent tariffs”, at-home “wallbox” chargers, and charging stations.
“We will be creating a seamless, sustainable ecosystem that addresses the main applications and provides answers to all the energy questions raised by electric car users and fleet operators,” said Thorsten Nicklaß, designated CEO of Elli in a statement when that plan was first unveiled.
In order for Volkswagen to be able to tap electric car batteries as a power source, however, it must first produce an electric vehicle with vehicle-to-grid (V2G or bidirectional charging) capabilities.
VW said in its release regarding the launch of Elli that it would develop a 22kW bidirectional charger, and although there has been no official word as yet on bidirectional charging for the ID3, expect to see this on the menu in the near future.
But the release of the carmaker’s ID3 electric hatchback, which was unveiled in 2019 as its flagship new electric vehicle series to “take on Tesla,” has been delayed due to software problems.
Volkswagen has said that the software issues would not delay its planned European summer launch, preferring to focus instead on savings to be had by its customers.
“The time schedule will be met,” Ulbrich said in a statement focused instead on the ID3’s affordability on Thursday. ”The ID.3 will be introduced to the market in the summer, as announced.”
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.