Volkswagen announced plans to invest €180 billion ($193 billion) over the coming five years to accelerate its transition from internal-combustion-engine powered vehicles to battery-powered vehicles.
The move is intended to protect its market share as it migrates to battery-electric power.
Volkswagen Group, the world’s second largest automaker, delivered 572,100 electric vehicles last year, making it the number one producer of EVs in Europe, and deliveries in China, the world’s largest EV market, grew by 68%, the company said.
The Wolfsburg-based automaker will also focus on expanding its presence in North America, where it has struggled for years, and becoming more competitive in China, one of its most important markets, said Oliver Blume, Volkswagen’s CEO.
Blume, who took over from Herbert Diess in September of last year, laid out a ten-point plan for helping Volkswagen move to electric vehicles, a path it effectively embarked upon when it abandoned diesel technology amidst the Dieselgate-scandal in 2015.
Two-thirds of €180 billion will be directed towards producing battery cells, developing software, and shoring up supply chains of critical raw materials.
“For me, it is important that we have a clear orientation of where we are going,” Blume said to reporters, adding that 2023 would be “a decisive year” for the automaker.
The Wolfsburg-based automaker announced plans last week for its first PowerCo cell plant outside of Europe. The new plant will be located in St. Thomas, Ontario, a move the automaker called a key piece of its North American EV strategy.
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