VW CEO teases Trinity project to rival Tesla, revamp Wolfsburg plant for EVs

Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess finally joined Twitter this week, and he's making up for lost time. After teasing Tesla CEO Elon Musk about VW's EV sales success in Europe, Diess hinted at a new electric-car project.

Trinity will be the next EV development program after Neo, VW's internal codename for the program that led to the ID family of electric cars, Diess tweeted, adding that it will "revolutionize Volkswagen, and especially Wolfsburg," the automaker's hometown.

"A huge challenge for our most traditional and historic site to compete against a greenfield in Grünheide," Diess said, seemingly referring to Tesla's planned German factory. "But we take on the challenge!"

Volkswagen Project Trinity

Volkswagen Project Trinity

In a LinkedIn post, Ralf Brandstätter, CEO for VW passenger cars, elaborated a bit. He said Trinity will comprise a new platform, more sophisticated driver-assist tech (reaching Level 4 on the SAE autonomous-driving scale), and a "radically new production approach" implemented at the revamped Wolfsburg factory.

Trinity may be related to Project Artemis, VW-owned Audi's attempt to launch a high-efficiency flagship EV by 2024, while creating a template for a faster development process. Audi could potentially take the lead in developing a vehicle platform that will be available to all VW Group brands.

Diess in 2017 said that VW would leapfrog Tesla in EV tech and sales prowess, but so far the automaker is just catching up. The first United States-market model from the Neo project—the ID.4 crossover—is expected to start deliveries next month. It remains to be seen whether VW can repeat the success it's found with the European-market ID.3 hatchback on this side of the Atlantic.

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