Volkswagen spending billions of dollars on electric cars

Volkswagen Passat GTE [Photo: Inside EVs]
Volkswagen is stepping up its shift to electric cars and plans to invest more than 20 billion euros ($24 billion) in zero-emission vehicles by 2030 to challenge pioneer Tesla in creating a mass market.

The world’s largest automaker by sales said on Monday it would roll out 80 new electric cars across its multi-brand group by 2025, up from a previous goal of 30, and wanted to offer an electric version of each of its 300 group models by 2030.

The German company had previously said it would spend more than 10 billion euros by 2025 on a move to electric vehicles.

Until it admitted two years ago to cheating on U.S. diesel emissions tests, Volkswagen (VW) had been slow to embrace electric cars and self-driving technology.

But the “dieselgate” scandal has prompted a strategic shift, while major advances in batteries and a global fight against pollution in the wake of VW’s scandal have raised pressure on carmakers to speed up development of zero-emission alternatives.

“A company like Volkswagen must lead, not follow,” Chief Executive Matthias Mueller told reporters on the eve of the Frankfurt auto show as he unveiled the group’s “roadmap E”.

“We are setting the scene for the final breakthrough for e-mobility.”

VW’s so-called I.D. model will compete with Tesla’s least expensive car, the new $35,000 base-price Model 3 sedan, for mass-market buyers.

VW’s electric car offensive mirrors pre-Frankfurt show announcements by German rivals.

(Source: Reuters)

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