Volkswagen Group's "Roadmap E" gathers greater momentum

Volkswagen Group's

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.

While Tesla's much-anticipated Model 3 sedan has already missed some key production targets, VW plans to expand assembly of zero-emission cars to 16 plants globally through the end of 2022 from three at present.

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.

As we discussed in the latest episode of the Electrek Podcast, Volkswagen's electric auto efforts mostly consist of press releases and concept vehicles at this time, but they seem quite serious about it based on their investments.

"Over the last few months, we have pulled out all the stops to implement "Roadmap E" with the necessary speed and determination", he says. Currently, the group produces electric vehicles at three locations.

A decision will be made on the battery production supplier for North America, "shortly".

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

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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.

It doesn't mean that VW is going all-electric though.

After seriously tarnishing its reputation with the diesel scandal, Volkswagen Group has changed strategy.

"We are investing strongly in tomorrow's mobility, but without neglecting the current technologies and vehicles that will continue to play an important role for decades", Mueller said.

Volkswagen says that pushing for electric vehicles does not mean internal combustion units would die. "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".

Separately, the German carmaker reiterated guidance for higher vehicle sales and revenue this year as well as a group return on sales of 6.5 to 7.5 percent before special items, compared with 7.4 percent last year.

Operating profit at luxury division Audi climbed to 5.06 billion euros past year, from 4.85 billion in 2016, VW said.

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