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Volkswagen EV launch ‘every month’

Power on: Volkswagen Group says it is planning to have 80 electric vehicles – including high-end cars such as the Porsche Mission E Sport Turismo – on its group fleet by 2025.

VW Group puts pedal to the metal for ‘world’s biggest electric vehicle fleet’

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Volkswagen logo14 Mar 2018

VOLKSWAGEN Group has promised to launch a new electric vehicle “virtually every month” from next year as it builds the world’s biggest fleet of 80 electric vehicles across its multiple brands by 2025.

The German giant is planning 16 production sites for electric vehicles by the end of 2022 as it lays the groundwork to build three million EVs a year under its already announced Roadmap E strategy.

Speaking at Volkswagen AG’s annual press conference in Berlin, Volkswagen AG CEO Matthias Mueller announced that his company was about to select a battery supplier in North America to go with those already appointed in Europe and China.

He said VW was planning to launch nine new electrified vehicles – three fully electric and six plug-in hybrids – this year to bring the group’s EV tally to 17 by the end of 2018.

“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,” he said.

But despite the full-throttle move into EVs, Mr Mueller denied that VW was walking away from conventional internal combustion engines, saying modern diesel drives were “part of the solution, not part of the problem, with regard to climate change”.

“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,” he said.

“We are putting almost €20 billion ($A31.5b) into our conventional vehicle and drive portfolio in 2018, with a total of more than €90 billion scheduled over the next five years.”

At last week’s Geneva motor show, VW brands unveiled three EVs – Audi e-tron SUV prototype, Porsche Mission E Cross Turismo concept and Volkswagen ID Vizzion concept. The latter – a potential large all-electric sedan rival for the Tesla Model S – is fourth in the ID line that VW believes will become its mainstream vehicle family as electricity replaces fossil fuels.

Mr Mueller indicated that VW had changed direction as a result of its diesel woes, likening the shift to a supertanker changing course.

“We’re back on the offensive – and we intend to remain there,” he said. “With Roadmap E, we have sent a powerful message of our resolve.”

Mr Mueller revealed that the VW Group’s proprietary autonomous vehicle technology – dubbed Sedric – would be handed off to one of the company’s subsidiaries for refinement “into a series product” soon.

He did not say which subsidiary that would be, but Audi makes most sense.

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