VW Tries Shock-and-Awe to Win the Transformation to an Age of Electric Vehicles

The company promises 12-minute charging everywhere

Steve LeVine
The Mobilist
Published in
8 min readMar 16, 2021

--

With VW’s Dustin Krause, right, trying out the VW ID.4 electric SUV. Photo: Alisha LeVine

Boring old batteries have rarely had it so good. A good two centuries after their invention, they are sought-after with the same fraught urgency of the prospectors who hunted oil in the middle-late tailfin decades of the last century. The latest to make this bald determination plain is Volkswagen, which is throwing everything at an electric coming-out party meant to demonstrate its tech-on-wheels bona fides. Yesterday, the German company held an almost two-hour international webcast to tout its quest to master battery parts rarely earning such attention, such as high-manganese cathodes and lithium-metal anodes. Its executives summoned a global press conference at 4 a.m. Eastern today in case the media had follow-up questions. One set of impressed folks was Wall Street, who yesterday bid up VW’s share price by more than 7%, to heights not seen since before Dieselgate, the shameful chapter of smog-device cheating that the company hopes will now finally be consigned to history.

As part of the multiday VW show, Dustin Krause, director of e-mobility for VW North America, passed not far from my home in the Washington, D.C. suburbs on Saturday. He was on an 18-day, cross-country PR journey in an ID.4, the…

--

--

Steve LeVine
The Mobilist

Editor at Large, Medium, covering the turbulence all around us, electric vehicles, batteries, social trends. Writing The Mobilist. Ex-Axios, Quartz, WSJ, NYT.