Volkswagen announced its first ‘Power Day’ event months after Tesla’s long-hyped ‘Battery Day’

FILE PHOTO: Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess attends a construction completion event of SAIC Volkswagen MEB electric vehicle plant in Shanghai, China November 8, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song
Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess joined twitter in January and took a jab at Elon Musk. Aly Song/Reuters
  • Volkswagen’s CEO took a page out of Tesla’s playbook by announcing the company’s first “Power Day.”
  • The event is scheduled for March 15 and has echoes of Tesla’s “Battery Day” from September.
  • Diess has been clear that one of VW’s key missions is to take on Tesla.
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With a budding social media presence and a rapidly growing lineup of electric models, Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess is looking to replicate Tesla and Elon Musk’s success in more ways than one.

The carmaker’s latest move is to host a battery-focused event that feels a lot like the “Battery Day” Tesla put on in September.

Diess on Tuesday announced the German carmaker’s first “Power Day,” which is scheduled for March 15. He offered little detail on the event, only adding: “Please note: This is not a car presentation.”

-Herbert Diess (@Herbert_Diess) March 9, 2021

Musk, similarly, generated months of buzz when he announced Tesla would hold a Battery Day without giving away specifics about what would be discussed. The CEO’s active Twitter feed and flashy presentations are a boon to Tesla, which doesn’t have an advertising budget.

Diess appears to be looking to emulate both those signature elements of Tesla’s business as of late. He joined Twitter in January and immediately posted a friendly jab at Musk about stealing “some of your market shares.”

And outside of Twitter, Diess hasn’t been shy about his mission to take on Tesla, the most valuable carmaker and by far the global leader in sales of electric vehicles. In a November blog post, Diess detailed a new effort to “catch up with Tesla” called “Mission T,” which involved accelerating software development and more effectively pooling hardware across Volkswagen’s brands.

Now, the group has developed several EVs across the Audi, Porsche, and Volkswagen brands, including a flagship battery-powered crossover for the US market called the ID.4. It plans to launch 70 electric models by 2030.

And some Wall Street analysts are optimistic about the carmaker’s prospects of rivaling Tesla in the EV space in the long term.

In a March 3 note, a team of analysts at UBS projected that Tesla and Volkswagen would comfortably be the largest producers of EVs by 2025. They estimated that Tesla would sell 2.3 million EVs that year, while Volkswagen would sell 2.6 million.