VW Ramps Up EV Plans

Volkswagen AG expects to introduce a new electrified model nearly every month, beginning in 2019.

To support the program, the company will expand production of plug-in hybrid and fully electric vehicles from three plants today to 16 facilities worldwide by 2022, CEO Matthias Mueller tells shareholders at the company’s annual media meeting in Berlin. The plan covers all VW passenger vehicle brands: Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini, Porsche, Skoda, SEAT and its namesake VW marque.

Mueller says VW has selected battery manufacturing partners in Europe and China in deals totaling about €20 billion ($25 billion). The company expects to award a contract soon to a battery supplier in North America.

The initiative is part of the “Roadmap E” strategy VW announced last autumn. The plan calls for VW Group brands to build as many as 3 million EVs per year by 2025 and market 80 new electric models by that time. The goal, Mueller says, is to offer the largest fleet of electrified vehicles in the world in the next few years.

This year, VW will roll out nine new electrified vehicles, including three EVs. Such models will help VW meet Europe’s more stringent carbon dioxide emissions standards that take effect in 2020, the company notes.

VW plans to invest another 20 billion in its conventional vehicle and engine programs this year and more than 90 billion over the next five years. Mueller notes such vehicles will play an important role in the company’s future for decades.