Volkswagen is taking its green initiative to an entirely new level. 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.” The ongoing initiative will see 16 sites around the world become home to battery-powered vehicle production before the end of 2022 – a significant jump from the mere three facilities where VW Group’s electric vehicles are currently being built.
“Things are really moving,” said Muller. “A change of course for the Volkswagen supertanker – full speed ahead to the future!” The 16 yet-to-be-named manufacturing sites will all be online by 2022, with the current three sites seeing a significant bump up to nine facilities in just two years.
Another aspect of VW’s “Roadmap E” plan will see partnerships with battery manufacturers in both China and Europe in the ongoing development of its electric I.D. range of vehicles, a contract that costs a whopping €20 billion ($24 billion) total. So far the company has yet to decide on a supplier for North America.
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. Beginning in 2019, Muller promised that there will be a new electric vehicle “virtually every month. 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.”
But don’t think the company has given up on conventional gas and diesel engines just yet. VW will be investing nearly €20 billion into its conventional vehicle portfolio in 2018, with a plan to invest more than €90 billion ($111 billion) into that same fund over the next five years. Even throughout the Dieselgate scandal, Muller believes that “diesel will see a renaissance in the not-too-distant future.”
“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 Müller.