Volkswagen is Investing $66 Billion in E-Mobility and Digital Technology

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【Summary】German automaker Volkswagen AG plans to invest 60 billion euros ($66.12 billion) by 2024 to develop electric and hybrid cars as well as digital technologies, the company announced on Friday.

Eric Walz    Dec 22, 2019 10:50 AM PT
Volkswagen is Investing $66 Billion in E-Mobility and Digital Technology
The Volkswagen ID3, the automaker's first electric car.

As the auto industry shift towards electric vehicles, global automakers are pouring billions into research and development of new electric models, hybrid technology and other e-mobility services. German automaker Volkswagen announced one of the biggest investments in its future.

German automaker Volkswagen, also the parent company of Audi and Porsche and Bentley, plans to invest 60 billion euros ($66.12 billion) by 2024 to develop electric and hybrid cars as well as digital technologies, the company said on Friday.

Most of the investment will go towards developing new electric models, as the company boosts its EV offerings. Volkswagen is investing 33 billion euros in developing new electric models, while the rest will go towards hybrid vehicles and digitalization, the automaker announced. 

With the massive investment, Volkswagen is looking to reinvent itself in the future as an electric brand.

"We are resolutely pressing ahead with the transformation of the Volkswagen Group and focusing our investments on the future of mobility. This is part of our systematic and consequent implementation of the Group's strategy," said Hans Dieter Pötsch, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Volkswagen Group.

Volkswagen said it plans to build 75 variants of electric cars and around 60 hybrid models. A decade from now, the automaker said around 26 million electric cars will be built, with 20 million of those using Volkswagen's MEB vehicle platform.

The MEB architecture, an acronym for "Modulare E-Antriebs-Baukasten", is Volkswagen's new dedicated platform for battery-powered vehicles. The new architecture consolidates all of the vehicle's electronic controls and reduces the number of microprocessors. 

The modular platform allows Volkswagen to configure it for the many different electric models with varying battery capacities its plans to build, and will help streamline manufacturing by sharing common components.

The MEB platform allows VW to configure its upcoming electric models with either rear wheel or all-wheel-drive, using one or two electric motors, for more optimal weight distribution and better handling.

The first model based on the MEB platform is the fully-electric I.D. 3. The electric car will be available with three different battery choices with a maximum range of 341 miles.

Another 6 million vehicles will be built on Volkswagen's High Performance Platform (PPE). The PPE is the automakers premium EV platform and will include luxury models under the Audi and Porsche and Bentley brands.  

These E-vehicles are scheduled to be made outside Germany by the company's plants in Mlada Boleslav in the Czech Republic and in Foshan, China and Anting, near Shanghai, and in the U.S. in Chattanooga, Tennessee. 

"We will step up the pace again in the coming years with our investments. Hybridization, electrification and digitalization of our fleet are becoming an increasingly important area of focus. We intend to take advantage of economies of scale and achieve maximum synergies. In light of the worsening economic situation, we are also working on increasing our productivity, our efficiency and our cost base so as to secure meeting our targets," said Herbert Diess, Chief Executive Officer of the Volkswagen Group in a statement.

Volkswagen is retooling its plant in Emden, Germany to build an electric sports utility vehicle (SUV) from 2022 onwards. The automaker is also building a new factory and the location for the new plant will be decided by year-end, the automaker said.

Volkswagen said is investment plans do include its joint ventures in China. The company said that these joint ventures finance investments in plants and products from their own resources.

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