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VW Group intensifies EV push

12th Mar 2019 4:19 pm

Group will launch about 70 full-electric models by 2030, up from the 50 planned earlier; sees EVs accounting for 40 percent of total sales.

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The Volkswagen Group has expanded its electrification plans and will launch about 70 new full-electric models in the next ten years, up from the 50 previously planned.

The VW Group, whose brands include Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Seat, Skoda, Porsche and Volkswagen, had set an initial target of 50 EVs by 2030 as part of its 2017 ‘Roadmap E’ initiative. The Group is gearing up to launch the first models on its new MEB bespoke dedicated electric architecture, starting with the Volkswagen ID hatch later this year.

Volkswagen boss Herbert Diess said expanding the number of electric models means the projected number of full-electric vehicles from the group will increase from 15 million to 22 million by 2030 and will comprise around 40 percent of the Group’s vehicle fleet. He added that the new goal was part of an effort to make the VW Group CO2-neutral “in all areas, from fleet to production to administration” by 2050.

Car firms are facing increasingly tough CO2 targets, and Diess said the VW Group’s goal was in line with those set out in the Paris Agreement on climate change to make Europe CO2-neutral by 2050.

Diess said that Volkswagen would change radically, adding: “Volkswagen is taking on responsibility with regard to the key trends of the future – particularly in connection with climate protection.” He also stated that in order to meet the cost of the VW Group’s electrification programme, it will invest 30 billion euros in the next five years. "The Group must make further improvements in efficiency and performance in all areas,” he said. The carmaker sees the number of electric vehicles in its fleet rising to at least 40 percent by 2030.

The Group has secured agreements with LG Chem, SKI, CATL and Samsung for supplies of battery cells, but is also looking as establishing a battery cell manufacturing facility in Europe. It is also working with QuantumScape on solid-state battery technology.

The VW Group says it has received more than 20,000 reservations each for the Audi e-tron and Porsche Taycan EVs that will launch later this year. Following the ID hatch, other brands will launch models based on the MEB platform, including the Seat el-Born and the production version of the Skoda Vision.

The VW Group is also investigating partnerships with other firms to expand the use of the MEB platform, with the first being a tie-up with e.Go mobile that was announced at the Geneva show recently.

JAMES ATTWOOD

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