VW to plough €20 billion into European and Chinese electric vehicle development

VW to plough €20 billion into European and Chinese electric vehicle development

Müller today admitted it had found space for another nine electrically powered cars, including three more pure BEVs.

The production plan is an update on the original plan called "Roadmap E" announced a year ago.

VW aims to launch 80 new EVs across the group by 2025 and offer an electric version of each of its 300 group models by 2030.

"Over the last few months, we have pulled out all the stops to implement "Roadmap E" with the necessary speed and determination", Muller said in a statement, referring to Volkswagen's electrification plan. The group now produces EV's at three locations, and in two years' time a further nine plants are scheduled to be equipped for this goal.

The German manufacturer's plans to produce as many as 3 million electric cars a year by 2025 is backstopped by deals with suppliers including Samsung SDI, LG Chem and Contemporary Amperex Technology for batteries in Europe and China. It plans to decide on North American suppliers soon.

Until its "dieselgate" emissions scandal was revealed two and a half years ago, Europe's largest automaker had been slow to embrace electric cars.

In 2017, VW Group sold a record 10.7 million vehicles worldwide. VW had to subsequently spend Dollars 29.7 billion to fix consumer-owned vehicles, plus pay a USD 2.8 billion fine to settle U.S. criminal charges.

The automaker said it awarded lithium-ion battery contracts worth about 20 billion euros ($24.8 billion) to South Korean and Chinese companies. The company, which has struggled to secure sources of cobalt, a critical component for modern batteries, said that it's working on ways to reduce the amount of the element needed for its electric cars.

Cedric is the first and only concept vehicle to wear VW Group branding (as opposed to a specific marque), but Müller says the vehicle will shortly be "leaving the Group for refinement into a series product at one of our brands". The company reiterated a target to lower that ratio to 6 percent by 2020. "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".

The group's net liquidity at the end of 2017 remained at EUR 22.4 billion even as overall operating profit was reduced by special items from the diesel issue of EUR 3.2 billion in 2017 compared with EUR 6.4 billion in the previous year.