Volkswagen bets big on electric with $25 billion battery bonanza
Volkswagen bets big on electric with $25 billion battery bonanza
Experts warn that new emissions tests could be near impossible to pass
13 March, 2018, 21:37
CEO Matthias Müller noted that Volkswagen will introduce a new electric vehicle "virtually every month" starting in 2019.
The Volkswagen Group plans to have electric cars wearing all 12 of its automotive brands, plus its Volkswagen Commercial operation and its trucking companies, MAN and Scania.
The German automaker said that "a supplier decision for North America will be taken shortly".
On the other hand, Volkswagen is the biggest automotive company in the world by unit volume, having sold 10.7 million vehicles a year ago across its slew of brands, which includes VW, Audi, Porsche, Skoda, and few high-end luxury brands such as Lamborghini.
The automaker also said it has selected partners to provide battery cells and related technology worth around 20 billion euros ($25 billion) for EV projects in Europe and China, its two biggest markets.
Roadmap E calls for 50 battery-electric vehicles and 30 plug-in hybrid models by 2025, with up to a quarter of all new VW Group models being purely electric powered by that point.
When "Roadmap E" was launched last fall, Volkswagenannounced plans to build up to three million electric vehicles annually by 2025 and market 80 new electric Group models.
It doesn't mean that VW is going all-electric though.
Mueller cited the company's efforts to reduce diesel emissions and recover from its 2015 diesel emissions scandal.
The auto giant admitted fitting software created to cheat emissions testing to 11 million vehicles in 2015 and was forced to pay out more than €20bn in fines.
"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", Müller said. The company also plans to invest more than €90 ($111.6) billion in conventional vehicles over the course of the next five years.
Volkswagen is taking its green initiative to an entirely new level.
Speaking in Berlin, where protesters demonstrated outside the venue, Mr Mueller gave an upbeat view after last year's record sales of 10.7 million vehicles. "Operating profit before and after special items was also better than ever, amounting to Euro 17.0 billion before special items and to Euro 13.8 billion after special items".
Operating profit at Audi climbed to 5.06 billion euros previous year, from 4.85 billion in 2016, VW said. These expenses in the 2017 fiscal year were mainly attributable to higher expenses for the buy-back and retrofitting programmes for 2.0 l and 3.0 l TDI vehicles in North America and to higher legal risks.
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