The automotive industry is clearly facing an electric revolution. We have discussed with Bogdan Florea, Head of Volkswagen Division Romania, about the future of mobility, Volkswagen plans for the upcoming year and what electric models will soon hit the streets.

What surprises does Volkswagen have in store for 2019 in terms of electric mobility? Will we see any new models?

At the end of 2019, the Volkswagen group will begin the production of the Volkswagen ID., the world’s first series vehicle based on the MEB – modular electric drive matrix. This way, the brand will be putting attractive models at affordable prices on the road, paving the way for the breakthrough of electric vehicles.

In 2020 we will begin a major electric cars offensive.

Should we expect a presentation of the Volkswagen ID. Neo in 2019? How about ID. Buzz? When will we see it on the streets?

We are continuously working on developing our green car division, and we aim to become the electric cars sales leader in Europe by the end of 2020, the year in which Volkswagen ID. range will be officially released.

With an impressive portfolio of products, such as NEO, ID. Crozz, as well as e-up! and e-Golf, we point at the goal of selling over 2,500 electric cars on the Romanian market in 2020.

More than that, the development related to the electric cars will continue in the period of 2020-2025, as Volkswagen is launching the ID. Buzz, as well as ID. Vizzion, which was recently presented in Geneva.

All members of the ID. family are designed for fast charging. Using fast charging systems, the battery can be charged 80 percent in about 30 minutes thanks to a completely new, significantly more powerful battery system developed by Volkswagen Group Components.

The models from the ID. family will get much visibility during the European UEFA Euro 2020, a competition where we are the mobility partner.

Please tell us a few words about We by Volkswagen Deliver. Is this programme going to be available in Romania?

All services are meant to satisfy specific customer needs, being part of an interactive network.

Nowadays, mobile connectivity does not only connect the driver, his car, and the Internet. It also links cars and drivers with one another.

The Volkswagen brand is planning to spend some €3.5 billion on its digitalization offensive until 2025.

We are working on building an amazing ecosystem called We by Volkswagen that will be available in Romania also and will help us to shift the focus to our clients and to offer more personalized services. The electric cars will be connected and integrated with an extensive list of services offered by Volkswagen and third parties.

One of the services available for our clients will be the digital key, used to access the car with your smartphone. This service will make it easier to share your car with family members or colleagues. Also, we will offer through this platform function on demand. That means that you can order a car with a basic configuration, but you can add specific function only when you need them, for a limited period, for instance when you go on vacation. This way you will pay a specific function for a limited time. The sales in automotive in the future will include cars with basic configuration leaving to the client the choice to choose from an extensive packet of software solutions. ”We by Volkswagen” will also include a wide range of apps as We Park – the parking being paid automatically through an interconnected platform, We Deliver – delivering products from our partner shops directly to your vehicle boot, etc.

The backbone of the ecosystem will be a Group-wide, primarily cloud-based platform, the “One Digital Platform” (ODP). This platform is mainly based on cloud-technology and connects the car, the customer and the services. The ODP ensures the connection with our IT architecture comprising Volkswagen services or such of external partners which are integrated into the Volkswagen ecosystem.

Since we are approaching the end of the year, can you please tell us how many electric cars did Volkswagen sell in 2018?

Sales of electric and hybrid cars increased in the first half of the year. The best-selling model was the Volkswagen Passat GTE, a hybrid plug-in, followed by Volkswagen e-Golf and Volkswagen e-up!, the last two being 100% electric models.

The target we have for the end of the year is to sell over 200 electric cars. We already sold 182 electric cars in the first nine months of the year.

The company will focus more on the development of electric and hybrid cars, according to the development strategy of the group.

In three words, how do you see the future of mobility?

Electric. Connected. Autonomous.