Ex-VW boss Müller named as chairman of EV start-up Piëch

Piëch Automotive, the Swiss EV start-up founded by late Volkswagen Group boss Ferdinand Piëch’s son Anton, has appointed ex-VW Group boss Matthias Müller as chairman.

Müller, who seceded the top spot at VW to Herbert Diess in 2018, will work alongside founders Piëch and Rea Stark to bring an all-electric, two-seat sports car – based on last year’s Mark Zero concept – to production.

The new chairman said: “I was immediately enthusiastic about the mission of the two founders, because it is more compelling and more visionary than all the new approaches I have encountered during my work in the automotive industry.

“I am proud to be involved in the business – it has the potential to herald a new chapter for modern mobility and shape the future of the automobile. It is an endeavour that will receive my wholehearted support.”

The finished car will feature “highly innovative battery technology and a record low charging time”, according to the brand. The concept, unlike similar propositions from rival start-ups, shuns the conventional ‘skateboard’ architecture in favour of a modular platform developed in collaboration with 200 external employees.

With centrally mounted batteries feeding a trio of electric motors, the Mark Zero is claimed to accelerate from 0-100km/h in 3.2 seconds and hit a top speed of 115km/h. A rapid charge to 80%, Piëch said, will take less than five minutes.

The production car is now said to be fully designed ahead of the first prototypes being built. It will be available to buy in 2022 with a claimed range of 500 kilometres.

Müller’s appointment comes as chief technology officer Klaus Schmidt, previously chief engineer at BMW Motorsport, takes on the role of joint CEO alongside chief marketing officer Andreas Henke, who has also spent time at Porsche.

Another recent recruit is head of sales Jochen Rudat, who reported directly to Elon Musk while building Tesla’s European dealership network over the course of ten years.

Felix Page

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