VW expands EV production
The Volkswagen Group is driving forward with the transformation to e-mobility. 16 locations around the globe are to produce battery powered vehicles by the end of 2022. This was announced by Matthias Müller, CEO of Volkswagen AG, at the Group's Annual Media Conference in Berlin. The Group currently produces electric vehicles at three locations, and in two years' time a further nine Group plants are scheduled to be equipped for this purpose. To ensure adequate battery capacity for the massive expansion of environmentally-friendly electric mobility, partnerships with battery manufacturers for Europe and China have already been agreed. The contracts already awarded have a total volume of around €20bn. A supplier decision for North America will be taken shortly.
'Over the last few months, we have pulled out all the stops to implement 'Roadmap E' with the necessary speed and determination,' CEO Matthias explained in Berlin. When 'Roadmap E' was launched last fall, Volkswagen announced plans to build up to three million electric vehicles annually by 2025 and market 80 new electric Group models. This year, another nine new vehicles, three of which will be purely electric-powered, will be added to the Group's electric portfolio of eight e-cars and plug-in hybrids.
A number of innovations from the Group were presented last week at the Geneva International Motor Show, among them the Audi e-tron, the Porsche Mission E and the I.D. VIZZION, another member of the Volkswagen I.D. family. From 2019, there will be a new electric vehicle 'virtually every month', Matthias said, 'This is how we intend to offer the largest fleet of electric vehicles in the world, across all brands and regions, in just a few years.'
The CEO made a point of emphasizing that this did not mean Volkswagen was turning its back on conventional drive systems. Modern diesel drives were part of the solution, not part of the problem, he stressed – also with regard to climate change. 'We are making massive investments in the mobility of tomorrow, but without neglecting current technologies and vehicles that will continue to play an important role for decades to come,' said Matthias. 'We are putting almost €20bn into our conventional vehicle and drive portfolio in 2018, with a total of more than €90bn scheduled over the next five years.'