Dr. Silke Bagschik in front of the ID.3.
Becoming ID.

Norway: a pioneer in electric mobility 

Becoming ID.

Norway: a pioneer in electric mobility 

26. März 2020

Six months of winter and temperatures as low as -15°C. Nevertheless, Norway has more electric cars than anywhere else in the world. Find out what the rest of us can learn from the country and what goals it has set for itself by 2025.

Generating enthusiasm for electric vehicles and nurturing it over the long term: Dr Silke Bagschik’s role in the ID. Project is to bear in the mind the interests of customers, dealerships and even employees. In episode 17 of ‘Becoming ID.’ the 45-year-old head of sales and marketing for the e-mobility product line explains how this works and why the ID.3 (near-production-ready prototype) represents New Volkswagen more than any other model.  

What inspired you the most when developing the ID.3?

We take responsibility for the environment and, with the current generation and future ones too, we are creating an affordable car that is suitable for everyday use and offers local emissions-free driving. And we consciously chose to do this in the compact class, the segment that Volkswagen invented when it created the Golf, and that it has helped to shape more than any other manufacturer. Electric mobility has to move away from being a niche; it has to be more than just a hope. We are demonstrating that a more sustainable form of mobility is open to everyone and can be great fun, too. We are able to summon up all of our power and all of our expertise for something good and something incredibly important.

At what point did you realise that electric mobility was about to make a breakthrough for everyone?

Four years ago, we began thinking about electric mobility as something really big, something new, a platform with scaling effects and a price target similar to conventional cars. As the concept came together with the input of all divisions and it became clear that the ID.3 – with its charisma and incredible driving experience for the same price as a Golf – was going to be an amazing car, I got goosebumps for the first time. This was going to work! A great electric car for millions not millionaires. A car for the people, just as it should be.  

The ID.3 gives sustainability a face. It is New Volkswagen.
Silke Bagschik
Head of E-Mobility Sales and Marketing

In detail: which technology do you find most fascinating in the new ID.3?

The driving experience in the ID.3 is simply exhilarating. It’s like driving in the future! I can never get enough of that punch of acceleration you get at traffic lights – it gives me butterflies. And on longer journeys, driving electrically is incredibly calming. You drive differently – it’s quieter, more consistent, more efficient – and you arrive feeling more relaxed! It brings new meaning to luxury. This is precisely what helps to create the “New Volkswagen with its new sound and lighting design. And it goes further than this: cars will start to blend even more naturally into our lives. The ID.3 has a personality, eyes – a face. It gives you a glance, one full of joy and energy, when you approach it in the morning. And of course, you can talk to it – it responds to either you or your passenger via the ID. Light. 

What was the biggest challenge you faced over the entire course of the project?

There are huge barriers and lots of people have pre-conceptions. In the past, electric cars were expensive; they didn’t have long enough ranges; charging your car was an adventure. Part of my job is to break down these pre-conceptions and make as many people as possible aware that: now you can! Electric mobility will work for you now, too, give it a try!

That is why we started the communications campaign early as such a fundamental change takes time. We are consistent in what we say and how we implement our strategy. Our partners should be able to rely on us. With the communications on our website www.volkswagen.de/id we have already cleared up a lot of the issues, and e-mobility as a whole will benefit from this. 

We’re also trying new approaches. For the first time, we as the manufacturer have direct contact with the customer during the pre-booking phase. We are a lot closer to our customers and that has positive effects. We are learning a lot.


What will you take away from this project personally?

This has been a really special time for me: the ID.3 is my baby and my whole team feels the same way. Many of us have been on board since 2016; we were in Oslo, where it really became clear “They think electrically here, it can work with the right cars and underlying conditions.” That’s when everything really took off in Wolfsburg. We wanted to create the first CO2-neutral electric car that was accessible to everyone. The more importers and dealerships we brought in, the more I was pulled in. For me, it is quite overwhelming to see that we are on our way towards an era of climate-conscious mobility, from production to the product.

The thing I’ll take with me is the effect that you can generate with inner conviction, the assumption of responsibility and a management style that allows for freedom. It’s really fun. 

The ID.3 and Golf 8 are in the same vehicle class. Do you see them as rivals?

No. There are two avant-garde vehicles in one class. The Golf 8 and ID.3 complement one another perfectly. The Golf 8 is the benchmark for the compact segment; the ID.3 will get people excited about electric mobility. I’m certain that Volkswagen will extend its leading role in the compact segment with both of these vehicles. What’s more, combustion engines and electric drives will continue to exist in parallel; the change won’t happen overnight. We are at the beginning of a new era of local emissions-free electric mobility. And this category will be known as the ID.