Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
Finance | By Claude Patterson

Germany's Volkswagen to electrify products on massive scale

Germany's Volkswagen to electrify products on massive scale

As we reported last September, the company is now committed to electrifying all of its brands by 2030, with 30 new plug-in hybrids and 50 new battery electric vehicles due by that date.

These plans are part of VW Roadmap E that was launched past year.

"Over the last few months, we have pulled out all the stops to implement "Roadmap E" (Volkswagen's EV rollout plan) with the necessary speed and determination".

Mr Mueller said the auto maker had "an excellent year" in 2017 and was committed to addressing concerns about diesel pollution, adding that 160,000 older diesels had been taken off the road through trade-in incentives. At the time, the company announced plans to build up to three million electric vehicles a year by 2025.

VW plans to produce as many as 3 million EVs a year by 2025 across its 12 brands, which include the VW marque, as well as Audi, Porsche, Skoda and Seat. "This is how we intend to offer the largest fleet of electric vehicles in the world, across all brands and regions, in just a few years".

Experts see VW's repeated emphasis on this front as a means of getting rid of the stigma of "dieselgate" of 2015 that has continually haunted the firm.

The auto giant admitted fitting software created to cheat emissions testing to 11 million vehicles in 2015 and was forced to pay out more than €20bn in fines. The company also plans to invest more than €90 ($111.6) billion in conventional vehicles over the course of the next five years.

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 USA deals set to follow.

Volkswagen has rewarded chief executive Mathias Mueller with benefits topping €10m for 2017, under the group's new pay scheme.

"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.

Separately, the German carmaker reiterated guidance for higher vehicle sales and revenue this year as well as a group return on sales of 6.5 to 7.5 percent before special items, compared with 7.4 percent last year. "Operating profit before and after special items was also better than ever, amounting to Euro 17.0 billion before special items and to Euro 13.8 billion after special items".

In 2016, Mueller had earned 7.3 billion euros under VW's then backward-looking remuneration system, which allowed bonuses to be partly based on VW's performance over the previous two years.

Like this: