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Volkswagen to outsell Tesla in electric cars by 2023, says VW executive

  • Elon Musk met with Volkswagen executives in Germany last week and even test-drove a competing electric model. 
  • Bernd Osterloh, the head of VW’s works council, wants one thing to be clear: the companies are still competing. 
  • He told a German newspaper that VW will outsell Tesla’s electric vehicle numbers by 2023. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

 

Elon Musk and Volkswagen’s chairman may have a friendly relationship, but another executive at the German auto giant wants to be clear that Tesla is still a major competitor.

Bernd Osterloh, the head of VW’s works council, says the company will sell more electric vehicles than Tesla by 2023 thanks to its modular electric drive platform (or MEB), which it can use for any car.

“If Tesla sets up three factories where 300,000 to 500,000 cars can be produced, then we are talking about a number of units between 900,000 and 1.5 million,” Osterloh told Germany’s Welt am Sonntag, as translated by Automotive News and other outlets. “We want to achieve the same in 2023, probably even earlier.”

Tesla has an advantage in harvesting data from all its cars already, Osterloh admitted, “but if we get our system into our cars, we will have much more data within a short time,” he said.

The comments come shortly after Musk visited Tesla’s under construction factory near Berlin before meeting with Diess near Volkswagen’s headquarters. Video shared by VW shows Musk test-driving an electric ID.3 hatchback with Diess in the passenger seat.

 

By 2025, VW hopes to have 50 fully electric models, and pledged in 2018 to spend around $50 billion to make it happen.

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