The automaker wants to overtake the US pioneer Tesla

The Wolfsburg-based group will spend billions on digitization and electric mobility in the future. 70 pure battery models are planned by 2030 alone. Including three larger fully electric SUVs.

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Volkswagen boss wants to have a huge budget of 73 billion euros Herbert Diess the race with Tesla to take the crown in electromobility. In the next five years (2021 to 2025), the world’s largest carmaker is investing 35 billion euros in new e-cars and the retrofitting of the factories, two billion more than what was previously planned for 2024. The supervisory board released the funds for this on Friday.

Another big chunk is digitization, where Volkswagen is doubling its spending to around 27 billion euros. “In the next few years it will be important to also take a leading position in vehicle software,” said Diess. He wants to convert Volkswagen into a mobility company that offers digital services in addition to e-cars.

VW target: Largest supplier of electric cars

The Lower Saxony set since Diesel scandal five years ago fully on e-mobility and recently launched their first all-electric car with the ID.3. In the next few years, Volkswagen wants to become the largest supplier in this field and overtake the US electric car pioneer Tesla.

The money for this huge investment wants VW further both through the inflow of funds from ongoing business – initially primarily through the sale of combustion engines – and through savings. In addition, less popular vehicle variants and equipment are being removed from the range.

It was decided some time ago to increase productivity by 30 percent by 2025 compared to 2016. Despite Corona-Krise and a slump in demand due to the economic uncertainty, the group sees itself in a position to cope with the billions in investments: “The financial basis is rock solid against the background of the great challenges in the next few years,” explained the chairman of the board Hans Dieter Pötsch.

“We’ll be on the attack for the next few years”

The works council welcomed the investment package. That showed impressively that the group is serious about transformation, e-mobility and digitization, said the head of the works council Bernd Osterloh. “We’ll be on the attack for the next few years.” At least as important as the billions in budget is a common understanding of the change and sufficient planning security. This requires political support for the charging infrastructure and the fast Internet.

Volkswagen is planning so much money because, because of the EU’s “Green Deal”, more stringent climate requirements and thus stricter CO2 limits are expected for the automotive industry. For Volkswagen, this means that half of the newly registered cars will have to be electrically powered in ten years. Up until now, Wolfsburg had forecast an electrical share of 20 to 25 percent for 2025.

70 battery-only models are planned by 2030

The Lower Saxony want to put around 26 million electrically powered vehicles on the roads by 2030. 19 million alone based on the electrical construction kit MEB developed by Volkswagen, and another seven million on the premium platform (PPE) from Porsche and Audi. 70 battery-only models are planned for this decade.

Volkswagen has secured the amount of battery cells required for this through long-term supply contracts, mainly with Asian manufacturers. At the same time, the car manufacturer is preparing to start its own production and has teamed up with the Swedish specialist Northvolt for this purpose. In China, currently the largest growth market for the automotive industry, Volkswagen is also investing billions in e-cars and has acquired a stake in the Chinese battery manufacturer Gotion.

New SUV with conventional drive from 2024

The production of e-cars is being rolled out worldwide. There are two plants in China and one in the USA. There are three in Germany – Zwickau, where the ID.3 and ID.4 are already rolling off the assembly line. In addition to the ID.4, the four-door Aero will also be produced in Emden from 2023. In addition to the ID.BUZZ, Hanover is also getting three larger, fully electric ones SUV-Models.

Another SUV with conventional drive is to be manufactured for the European market at the main plant in Wolfsburg from 2024. The mid-range Passat will be relocated from Emden to Bratislava in Slovakia and will be there in future together with its sister model Skoda Superb built.

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