Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess is continuing his public rapprochement with Tesla. After he published a video on Monday in which Tesla CEO Elon Musk can be seen jokingly during a night test drive with him in a VW ID.3 at Braunschweig-Wolfsburg Airport, he made it clear that a transaction or cooperation was with him Tesla is currently not being prepared. In another LinkedIn post, however, he described the Tesla Model Y as a “reference” for Volkswagen in many ways.
Tesla reference for everything but price?
With the SUV electric car VW ID.4 and its offshoots from Audi, Seat and Skoda, which are also based on the new MEB platform, the Volkswagen Group plans to bring an alternative to the Tesla Model Y onto the European market this year. It is already known that the second new electric VW, like the ID.3, should be Tesla-level in terms of the important range compared to the Model 3. The large battery in the ID.4 should be sufficient for more than 500 WLTP kilometers, Tesla mentions a maximum of 505 kilometers for the Model Y. As with the ID.3 and Model 3, the price of the VW should be much lower.
Diess was possibly referring to this factor when he wrote on LinkedIn that the Tesla Model Y was “a reference” for Volkswagen in many aspects (not in all!) “. Of course, he has already driven it like Musk drove the ID.3 last week, together with his colleague, Volkswagen’s head of research and development, Frank Welsch. As specific points for Tesla as a role model, Diess named user experience, update capability, driving functions, performance in the top models, charging network and range, i.e. almost everything with the exception of the price.
The CEO of the Volkswagen brand Audi recently stated that Tesla could no longer speak of a lead when it came to batteries, but that when it came to computer hardware, software and automatic driving, he spoke of “two years for sure”. Seen in this way, the VW ID.4 and its offshoot Tesla would be the same in terms of range, but not in the other points mentioned by CEO Diess – including the charging network, because electric car charging without Tesla’s Supercharger is still possible, at least in Germany more complicated and, above all, more expensive.
No VW business with Tesla planned
The unexpected meeting between VW and Tesla bosses quickly sparked speculation about closer contact and participation in both directions. In addition, a few weeks ago Musk publicly offered to support other manufacturers in their electric car efforts with Tesla software including autopilot as well as batteries and drives. Because Volkswagen is probably the strongest on the Tesla course of all the old car companies worldwide, both integration and technical cooperation would have been an option.
But, at least for now, both of these will not work, as VW boss Diess later made clear in the comments on his Tesla video: he and the Tesla CEO only drove in the ID.3 and had a little chat, he wrote and published Photo with yourself and Musk. A “deal”, i.e. a transaction such as a takeover or stake, or a cooperation with Tesla is currently not being prepared.