Volkswagen has outlined an ambitious production plan for electric vehicles, selecting no less than 16 global factories to build EVs through the end of 2022. "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".
On March 13, the Volkswagen Group announced it would be making an even more aggressive push into the electric vehicle (EV) space, with CEO Matthias Müller revealing the group intends to roll out a new EV "virtually every month" from next year.
"Over the last few months, we have pulled out all the stops to implement "Roadmap E" with the necessary speed and determination", 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".
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. So far the company has yet to decide on a supplier for North America.
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.
The company still reiterated its commitment to "conventional vehicles", which we assume means diesel and gasoline vehicles.
"Things are really moving", said Muller.
Volkswagen is gearing up to launch its MEB platform, which will prove the base of its I.D. line of electric cars, as well as the underpinning of electric models from other brands in the larger Volkswagen Group. "We are putting nearly Euro 20 billion into our conventional vehicle and drive portfolio in 2018, with a total of more than Euro 90 billion scheduled over the next five years".
As Muller detailed Volkswagen's increasing shift to electric vehicles, it was also reported that after the group's strong earnings in 2017, the company CEO's pay packet, plus additional benefits, surged around 40% to €10.14 million.
On its outlook for 2018, Volkswagen Group said it expects deliveries to customers to moderately exceed the prior-year figure.
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.