Volkswagen intensifies electric vehicle plans with production drive

Range Rover

JLR has made positive strides in reducing its fleet CO2 emissions

The company is aiming for a goal to launch 80 new electric cars by 2025 and eventually offer an electric version of each of its 300 group models by 2030.

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.

This ambitious electric strategy stands in sharp contrast to Volkswagen's 2015 emissions scandal, wherein the company's diesel vehicles were found to have "defeat devices" installed to cheat emissions tests. The Group now produces electric vehicles at three locations, and in two years' time a further nine Group plants are scheduled to be equipped for this goal.

"Over the last few months, we have pulled out all the stops to implement "Roadmap E" with the necessary speed and determination", Müller told his audience.

VW has chosen battery suppliers for its European and Chinese-market products, adding that "a supplier decision for North America will be taken shortly", the automaker said in a statement.

It doesn't mean that VW is going all-electric though. Diesel engines, the target of so much public loathing over the past few years, would remain at the core of the VW lineup.

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Volkswagen has already awarded contracts worth €20bn ($24.6bn) to battery manufacturers in Europe and China, and plans to purchase around €50bn ($61.6bn) of EV batteries in total. About 500,000 diesel vehicles with "defeat" devices were sold between 2009 and 2015 in the United States and another 11 million worldwide.

Yet, Muller said electrification does not mean the firm is moving away completely from conventional technologies. VW had to subsequently spend Dollars 29.7 billion to fix consumer-owned vehicles, plus pay a USD 2.8 billion fine to settle USA criminal charges.

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"We are putting nearly Euro 20 billion (~$25 billion USD) into our conventional vehicle and drive portfolio in 2018, with a total of more than Euro 90 billion (~$111 billion USD) scheduled over the next five years", he says.

The group's has weathered the dieselgate storm well financially in spite of the billions in cash outflows due to the scandal.

On its outlook for 2018, Volkswagen Group said it expects deliveries to customers to moderately exceed the prior-year figure. "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". According to previous reports, North America's first I.D. -badged vehicle will likely be a crossover SUV.

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