Volkswagen is increasing the speed of building electric cars: the goal of one million battery-powered cars should be reached by the end of 2023, the group said. That is two years earlier than previously planned. The VW brand now expects to produce 1.5 million electric vehicles by 2025.
Volkswagen wants to overtake the US electric car maker Tesla and become the world market leader in e-mobility in the next few years. To this end, the group is planning numerous new models.
It starts with the new ID.3, whose production started in Zwickau in November and which is to be sold from summer. A few months later, production of the ID.Crozz, the first fully electric SUV of the VW brand, is to begin there.
Preparations for the start-up of the ID family are also underway in China and the USA. Pre-production has already started in Anting, China. The US plant in Chattanooga is also expected to manufacture electric cars from 2022.
60 billion euros for e-mobility by 2024
The Wolfsburg-based company plans to invest 33 billion euros in electromobility within five years, a third of which will go to the VW brand. By the end of 2024, a total of almost 60 billion euros should flow into climate-friendly drives, self-driving cars and digitalization.
Volkswagen plans up to 75 pure electric models within ten years. In a first wave, the group plans to put 26 million e-mobiles on the streets worldwide by 2029, the majority based on the new MEB electrical kit.
The aim of the mammoth program is to reduce the emissions of climate-damaging CO2 in the vehicle fleet in order to meet the stricter climate requirements. VW wants to generate the money for the investments both through the inflow of funds from current business and through savings programs itself.
Jobs at risk
However, this also means that more jobs will probably be lost because the work volume in electromobility is lower than with conventional combustion engines. At the end of 2018, VW announced it would cut up to 7,000 jobs as part of the switch to electric cars.
Volkswagen also cuts costs by letting other manufacturers use the electrical kit. For example, the second largest US carmaker Ford, with which Volkswagen signed an alliance a few months ago.
Read here: Climate strategies - How automakers want to build the zero-CO2 car
Volkswagen has secured the supply of batteries that are required for the increasing number of electric cars through long-term supply contracts. At the same time, the group is preparing to start manufacturing its own battery cells and has allied itself with the Swedish specialist Northvolt. From 2020, a battery cell factory with a capacity of 16 gigawatt hours is to be built in Salzgitter, Lower Saxony. Production is scheduled to start in 2023/2024.