Volkswagen bets big on electric with $25 billion battery bonanza

Lloyd Doyle
March 13, 2018

From 2020, it will roll out one electric auto "virtually every month" to give it the most varied fleet of electric models of any automaker.

The production plan is an update on the original plan called "Roadmap E" announced a year ago. A supplier decision for North America will be taken shortly.

To ensure adequate battery capacity for this massive expansion, the company has already agreed to partnerships with battery manufacturers for Europe and China and has awarded contracts for a total volume of around Euro 20 billion.

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.

Although, according to Bloomberg, Volkswagen may ultimately buy about $60 billion in batteries for EVs with a goal to produce up to 3 million electric cars per year by 2025 in North America.


"Over the last few months, we have pulled out all the stops to implement "Roadmap E" (Volkswagen's EV rollout plan) with the necessary speed and determination". Diesel engines, the target of so much public loathing over the past few years, would remain at the core of the VW lineup. About 500,000 diesel vehicles with "defeat" devices were sold between 2009 and 2015 in the USA and another 11 million worldwide.

"Things are really moving". VW had to subsequently spend Dollars 29.7 billion to fix consumer-owned vehicles, plus pay a USD 2.8 billion fine to settle USA criminal charges.

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. VW will be investing almost €20 billion into its conventional vehicle portfolio in 2018, with a plan to invest more than €90 billion ($111 billion) into that same fund over the next five years. The about-face for electrification starting in 2022 was due to Dieselgate, he said. "Operating profit before and after special items was also better than ever, amounting to Euro 17.0 billion before special items and to Euro 13.8 billion after special items". In terms of operating profit, an operating return on sales of between 6.5 and 7.5 percent is anticipated.

Certainly the skeptics will have to wait nearly two years to see if long-range electric cars actually do land in showrooms in Europe, China, and North America.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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