As part of its Roadmap E electrification initiative, the Volkswagen Group has announced it is expanding production of electric vehicles (EVs) worldwide on a “massive scale.”
By the end of 2022, the automaker plans to have 16 locations producing battery-powered vehicles. The group currently produces EVs at three locations, and in two years’ time, a further nine plants will be equipped to do the same.
To ensure adequate battery capacity, VW says it has secured partnerships with battery manufacturers for Europe and China, and a supplier decision for North America will be made shortly. The contracts already awarded have a total volume of around EUR 20 billion, says VW.
“Over the last few months, we have pulled out all the stops to implement Roadmap E with the necessary speed and determination,” said Matthias Müller, CEO of Volkswagen AG, at the group’s annual media conference in Berlin.
When Roadmap E was launched last fall, Volkswagen announced plans to build up to three million EVs 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 new innovations from VW 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.
From 2019, there will be a new EV “virtually every month,” Müller 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,” he explained.
The CEO emphasized that Volkswagen is not turning its back on conventional drive systems. Modern diesel drives are part of the solution, not part of the problem, he claimed – 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 Müller. “We are putting almost EUR 20 billion into our conventional vehicle and drive portfolio in 2018, with a total of more than EUR 90 billion scheduled over the next five years.”
The automaker announced its intention to expand its investment in EVs following the “dieselgate” settlement.
In spite of the billions in cash outflows from the diesel crisis, says VW, net liquidity at the end of 2017 remained at a very solid EUR 22.4 billion.
“2017 was an excellent year for the Volkswagen Group and its brands. We’re back on the offensive – and we intend to remain there,” the CEO stressed, adding that this was true for electric mobility in particular. “With Roadmap E, we have sent a powerful message of our resolve,” Müller stated.
He added, “We are financially robust and strategically well-positioned. Things are really moving. And we have plans for much more. A change of course for the Volkswagen supertanker – full speed ahead to the future!”