Volkswagen intensifies electric vehicle plans with production drive


At the Geneva Motor Show, VW Group introduced three new electric concepts, including the Audi e-tron, the Porsche Mission E Cross, and the I.D. Vizzion - the latter being the latest addition to the growing I.D. range. VW Group says this is just to line up batteries for vehicles to be built in Europe and China; a decision about a supplier for North American production "will be [made] shortly", it said in a press release.

The Volkswagen Group has seen significant advancement in its futuristic electric auto concepts over the past few years, with new models, such as Bentley's EXP 12 Speed 6e, Audi's stylish e-tron quattro and Volkswagen's ID Vizzion, demonstrating the group's commitment to its new, forward-looking strategy. That was just months after it promised to spend 20 billion euros (about $25 billion) on EVs and self-driving cars.

"Over the last few months, we have pulled out all the stops to implement "Roadmap E" with the necessary speed and determination", Muller added. The Group now produces electric vehicles at three locations, and in two years' time a further nine Group plants are scheduled to be equipped for the objective.

It has already chosen its battery cell suppliers and has locked in technology contracts worth up to US$25 billion for the Europe and China alone, he admitted, with U.S. deals set to follow.

At VW Group's annual media conference in Berlin, Germany, CEO Matthias Muller rolled out even more details on the plan he calls "Roadmap E".

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It doesn't mean that VW is going all-electric though.

"Things are really moving". Diesel engines, the target of so much public loathing over the past few years, would remain at the core of the VW lineup. VW had to subsequently spend United States dollars 29.7 billion to fix consumer-owned vehicles, plus pay a USD 2.8 billion fine to settle U.S. criminal charges.

"We are making massive investments in the mobility of tomorrow, but without neglecting current technologies and vehicles that will continue to play an important role for decades to come", said Muller.

"We are financially robust and strategically well-positioned", Müller said during the conference.

"At EUR 230.7 billion, the group's sales revenue was up 6.2 percent on the prior-year figure, which was a new record", said CFO Frank Witter. "Even after deducting special items, this is the best operating profit that the Volkswagen Group has ever achieved". Development spending declined 3.9 percent to 13.1 billion euros in 2017, equivalent to 6.7 percent of sales. North America will soon follow.