Volkswagen assigns $24 billion in battery orders to speed EV push



Automaker Volkswagen's ramping up for its big EV push, with $25 billion in committed battery supplies and plans to outfit 16 factories to build electric cars by the end of 2022, up from three with that capacity in the VW stable right now. The company had said it would build upto three million electric vehicles annually by 2025 and market 80 new models across its group of nine companies. 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 objective.

"From 2019, there will be a new electric vehicle virtually every month", said Matthias Muller, CEO of Volkswagen AG.

Volkswagen has selected partners to provide battery cells and related technology worth around 20 billion euros ($24.7 billion) for electric vehicle projects in Europe and China, pushing ahead with a shift to zero-emission cars. "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". So far the company has yet to decide on a supplier for North America.

It doesn't mean that VW is going all-electric though. Yet, Muller said electrification does not mean the firm is moving away completely from conventional technologies. The dieselgate scandal had erupted in September 2015 when the US Environmental Protection Agency found VW had installed devices on its diesel turbocharged direct injection (TDI) engines that manipulated emissions during government tests. "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".

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.

The Volkswagen Group says that it has the financial resources for the transformation. In terms of operating profit, an operating return on sales of between 6.5 and 7.5 percent is anticipated.

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