Volkswagen bets big on electric with $25 billion battery bonanza

A car is plugged in at a Innogy charging point for electric vehicles in Essen Germany

However, under the group's new directive, this number is set to quadruple within just two years, as Volkswagen seeks to extend EV production to 16 of its factories by the end of 2022.

Volkswagen has picked partners to provide battery cells and related technology worth around 20 billion euros ($25 billion) for its growing electric auto program, adding further pressure on USA pioneer Tesla.

Volkswagen confirmed at its annual media conference that it's going to bring one of its most eccentric concepts to production - the all-electric Sedric shuttle, which is more tiny pod bus than vehicle, will eventually actually get made, after its design is refined by one of the Volkswagen Group's portfolio brands through a further development process. Rather, VW Group has contracted with suppliers including Samsung and LG Chem, among others.

When "Roadmap E" was launched last fall, Volkswagen announced plans to build up to three million electric vehicles annually by 2025 and market 80 new electric Group models. "This is how we intend to offer the largest fleet of electric vehicles in the world". At €12.6 (US$15.5) billion, investments in property, plant and equipment in the Automobile Division remained at the previous year's level.

Pressure has intensified on Volkswagen to overhaul its lineup. Diesel is key to efforts to meet tighter environmental targets because of its fuel efficiency, even though it emits smog-causing nitrogen oxides.

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"Although grappling with billions of euros in costs and fines for dieselgate, VW has pledged to spend 34 billion euros on EVs, autonomous driving and new mobility services by the end of 2022, one of the most ambitious plans in the industry". The first model with the I.D. nameplate will be the Neo hatchback that goes on sale in 2020. The company, which has struggled to secure sources of cobalt, a critical component for modern batteries, said that it's working on ways to reduce the amount of the element needed for its electric cars, suggesting ongoing concerns even after setting up supplies for its initial electric-car rollout.

Manufacturing the powerpacks themselves is not in the cards. In particular, it has been investing in battery projects and global pollution campaigns.

German auto maker Volkswagen is planning to plough around €20 billion into a string of electric vehicle projects across Europe and China. Capex/sales revenue was also lowered significantly to 6.4% from 6.9%.

In response, Volkswagen has started to shift its focus to environment-friendly cars. "In terms of operating profit, an operating return on sales of between 6.5% and 7.5% is anticipated". "Not least because we must generate the revenue we will need for our enormous future investments".

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