Volkswagen assigns $25 billion in battery orders for electric vehicles

London UK

The manufacturer who was rocked by "diesel gate" over two years ago, said it will produce battery-powered vehicles at 16 global locations, by 2022. The Group now produces electric vehicles at three locations, and in two years' time a further nine Group plants are scheduled to be equipped for this goal.

The automaker said it awarded lithium-ion battery contracts worth about 20 billion euros ($24.8 billion) to South Korean and Chinese companies.

A decision will be made on the battery production supplier for North America, "shortly".

"We have pulled out all the stops during the past months to carry out the Roadmap E promptly and resolutely", CEO Matthias Mueller stated, describing the electric vehicle program. The company had said it would build upto three million electric vehicles annually by 2025 and market 80 new models across its group of nine companies.

According to a recent study by Ernst & Young, the German auto makers VW, Daimler and BMW have invested €4.7 billion worldwide in the last two years in pure electric vehicle technology.

Volkswagen AG, the largest carmaker in the world, has announced it is pouring a massive amount of resources into electric vehicle development.

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A number of VW Group newcomers were presented last week at the Geneva International Motor Show, among them the Audi e-tron, the Porsche Mission E and the I.D. While "I.D." won't be a full standalone brand i.e Toyota's ill-fated Scion brand; I.D. models will be a bit of a sub-brand for Volkswagen with ID: Buzz, ID Crozz, and ID Vizzion all on the future roadmap.

The CEO emphasized that Volkswagen is not turning its back on conventional drive systems.

He said Tuesday the company would be "part of the solution" in finding a way to address controversy over the diesel issue.

"We are investing strongly in tomorrow's mobility, but without neglecting the current technologies and vehicles that will continue to play an important role for decades", Mueller said.

Tesla is assuredly anxious at the moves Volkswagen is making as this will of course help drive cobalt prices globally and on a broader scale signals just how serious the Volkswagen group has become about electric vehicles.

Separately, looking ahead to 2018, Volkswagen expects sales and deliveries to "modestly exceed" the upbeat 2017 performance. The manufacturer predicts an operating margin this year of between 6.5 percent and 7.5 percent of revenue, compared with 7.4 percent in 2017.

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