Volkswagen is ramping up its e-mobility strategy to plan 16 production sites around the world for electric vehicles by the end of 2022. It also says that future partnerships with battery manufacturers have been agreed for Europe and China. The push for e-mobility comes as VW continues to deal with its 'dieselgate' scandal and associated costs.
The e-mobility ramp-up was announced by VW Group CEO Matthias Müller in Berlin at VW's shareholder AGM.
VW 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 with contracts totalling around EUR20bn. VW also said 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," Müller said. When "Roadmap E" was launched last year, 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.
From 2019, there will be a new electric vehicle "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 also said 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 said – 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 EUR20bn into our conventional vehicle and drive portfolio in 2018, with a total of more than EUR90bn scheduled over the next five years."