The Volkswagen Group is expanding its production of electric vehicles to 16 locations around the globe by the end of 2022.
Volkswagen's CEO Matthais Müller announced the details of its plans to extend its green credentials at the company's annual media conference in Berlin. Currently, VW produces battery operated vehicles in just three of its factories and in just two years another nine factory locations would be equipped for this goal. The "Roadmap E" plan will retool an additional nine group plants to manufacture electric vehicles in just two years.
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. "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". So far the company has yet to decide on a supplier for North America.
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".
Experts see VW's repeated emphasis on this front as a means of getting rid of the stigma of "dieselgate" of 2015 that has continually haunted the firm.
"Things are really moving", said Muller.
The company still reiterated its commitment to "conventional vehicles", which we assume means diesel and gasoline vehicles.
"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 Muller. VW will be investing almost €20 billion into its conventional vehicle portfolio in 2018, with a plan to invest more than €90 billion ($111 billion) into that same fund over the next five years.
The Volkswagen Group says that it has the financial resources for the transformation.