German automaker Volkswagen is firing a shot across the bow of Tesla with its new electric vehicle venture known as “Project Trinity.” Volkswagen has teased its new venture online with new images and bold claims. Specifically, VW says they plans to launch a sedan with “high range, extremely short charging times, and revolutionary production.” If they can succeed with these claims — and attach an attractive price to it — they could compete directly with Tesla for EV supremacy.
Currently, the only EV available from Volkswagen in America is the ID4. With a 125-kW charger, the ID4’s battery will charge from 5% to 80% in about 40 minutes. While that charging time might sound pretty fast, it trails the speedy recharging time of Tesla’s Supercharger.
The current Tesla Model S, when hooked up to a V3 Supercharger, can charge at up to 250 kW. That makes it twice as fast as the charging time for the ID4. Volkswagen hasn’t said anything official yet, but it’s safe to assume that its charging infrastructure under Project Trinity will be at least 250-kW or greater.
When it comes to driving range on a single battery charge, 250 miles is the most you can currently get out of an ID4. The recently announced Tesla Model S Plaid boasts more than 500 miles of range on a single battery charge. It can drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and back on a single charge, for example. A more equivalent Tesla Model Y crossover vehicle can go up to 326 miles between chargings.
More details of Project Trinity are needed. However, VW has made it clear they plans to try and supplant Tesla as the world’s leading EV manufacturer. The Trinity (assuming that’s the final name) will also feature autonomous driving capabilities. It remains to be seen how effective that feature will be, given the many problems that face full self driving.