Volkswagen EV Business Worth $230 Billion, Deutsche Bank Says

(Bloomberg) — Volkswagen AG should keep getting more credit for its battery-powered car strategy that could lead the company to surpass Tesla Inc. in electric-vehicle sales as soon as next year, according to Deutsche Bank.

If the market were to apply multiples similar to Tesla and Nio Inc. to VW’s battery-electric vehicle business, it would be worth about 195 billion euros ($230 billion), more than all of the company is worth now, analysts led by Tim Rokossa wrote in a report Monday. They lifted their price target for VW shares by 46% to 270 euros.

VW’s common stock surged as much as 14% and its preference shares rose as much as 8.4% in Frankfurt, while its American depositary receipts climbed in New York. Last week, the German-traded securities climbed 22% and 16%, respectively.

The carmaker stole software giant SAP SE’s crown as the largest member of Germany’s benchmark DAX index, becoming the country’s most valuable company for the first time since the 2015 diesel cheating scandal damaged its reputation and stock price. Its plans to take on Tesla for EV leadership set off a buying spree among U.S. retail investors and surge in trading volume for its ADRs.

Rokossa sees a good chance VW’s EV deliveries surpass Tesla’s in short order as its ID.4 compact SUV is rolled out globally. Executives for the company’s Spanish brand Seat said Monday they plan to launch an EV for urban areas in 2025 costing between 20,000 euros and 25,000 euros.

VW plans to transform Seat’s factory outside Barcelona into an EV hub with the goal of producing more than 500,000 vehicles there per year, equal to Tesla’s global deliveries in 2020.

The truck unit Traton SE is also getting into the mix. It will boost investments in electric technology to 1.6 billion euros by 2025 from 1 billion euros previously and scale back spending on combustion engines.

“The future of commercial vehicles won’t be shaped by diesel anymore but by electric trucks,” Traton Chief Executive Officer Matthias Gruendler told reporters. Due to lower costs for customers, battery-powered trucks are bound to prevail over those using hydrogen fuel cells, which largely will be restricted to niche markets, he said.

(Updates with American depositary receipts rising in the third paragraph. An earlier version of this story corrected the spelling of a company name in the headline.)

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