Right now, the average person might name Tesla Motors are the leader in electric vehicle technology, or maybe Nissan. Few, if any, would even dare mention Volkswagen, but there is a possibility that could change in the near future. The German automaker is making serious moves that indicate it could become a major player in the push to electrify cars. Already, it offers the e-Golf, but things look like quite a few more models will be launched in the coming years.
Bloomberg recently ran a story detailing how VW has scooped up a 5 percent of QuantumScape Corp., which is a promising startup from California that could help revolutionize battery technology through some creative innovations. The news publication highlighted how Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neusser mentioned during the Los Angeles Auto Show that the car company was on the verge of something big with battery tech. Without being too specific, Neusser indicated the innovation involves using a different type of electrolyte than what is housed in batteries currently. The technology promises the ability to at least quadruple the capacity of batteries.
What VW is talking about is one of the key innovations that would help electric vehicles truly take off in the market. Many drivers have range anxiety about models like the Nissan Leaf and BMW i3, which likely holds back a good number from leaving internal combustion engines behind.
According to Bloomberg, Martin Winkerkorn, the CEO of Volkswagen, addressed Stanford University students recently and spoke briefly about the emerging battery technology. He reportedly stated that there is the possibility that vehicle range could be boosted to around 430 miles, putting electric vehicles on par with their gasoline-powered competition. Right now, most electric models have a range under 100 miles, while the top-of-the-line Tesla Model S does not get even close to 400 miles on a single charge.