Volkswagen updated its plans for electric cars with a complete overhaul of its investment strategy.
After announcing an initial investment of $10 billion in EVs earlier this year, which was still smaller than the German automaker’s investments in gas-powered cars, they now promise to spend up to 70 billion euros (~$84 billion USD) in order to bring 300 electric vehicle models to market by 2030.
More interestingly, most of the investment 50 billion euros (~$60 billion) will be in battery production in order to support their electric car ambitions for the next decade.
Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller said to guests gathered at an event in Frankfurt today ahead of the launch of the annual motor show (via BBC):
“A company like Volkswagen must lead, not follow. We have got the message and we will deliver. This is not some vague declaration of intent. It is a strong self-commitment which, from today, becomes the yardstick by which we measure our performance.”
Mueller has been a proponent of EVs within Volkswagen ever since he took the helms of the company following the Dieselgate Scandal, but he faced some internal backlash from the leadership.
A slide that leaked from a VW presentation about its upcoming electric vehicles showed that they have 4 new models coming under the VW brand within the next few years, but also several more under Audi, Porsche, and the automaker’s other brands.
While it’s still more talk than action, this move is significant because it would mean that the board has approved an investment schedule for electric vehicles and an investment of this size should get things going.
It’s also reassuring that they are taking battery supply seriously. We already got hints that it was coming when company officials said that they see a need for 40 Tesla Gigafactory-size battery factories by 2025 to support electric car production.
The injection of 50 billion euros (~$60 billion) to support a battery supply chain for VW’s electric cars should shake up the industry and prepare for a rapid expansion of battery production over the next few years.
With announcements like this and the recent announcements of gas and diesel-powered car bans from the UK, France, and maybe soon China, I think it’s becoming clear that EVs will move a lot quicker than most people expected.