VW Group to launch one electric vehicle a month from 2019


When it launched Roadmap E in Europe in the third quarter of a year ago, the Volkswagen Group projected it would deliver 80 new EVs from two EV architectures.

While Tesla's much-anticipated Model 3 sedan has already missed some key production targets, VW plans to expand assembly of zero-emission cars to 16 plants globally through the end of 2022 from three at present.

Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller (L) and CFO Frank Witter pose next to the self-driving vehicle Sederic at the annual earnings news conference of VW in Berlin in Berlin, Germany, March 13, 2018.

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

The VW Group now produces EVs at three locations.

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From 2019, Müller insisted, the Group that owns Porsche, Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini, Seat, Skoda and Bugatti would launch a new electric vehicle "virtually every month".

From 2019, there will be a new electric vehicle "virtually every month", Müller said: "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".

Volkswagen has picked partners to provide battery cells and related technology worth around 20 billion euros ($25 billion) for its growing electric vehicle programme, adding further pressure on USA pioneer Tesla.

Müller today admitted it had found space for another nine electrically powered cars, including three more pure BEVs.

A supplier decision for North America will be made shortly.

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"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".

A number of innovations from the Group were presented last week at the Geneva International Motor Show, among them the Audi e-tron, the Porsche Mission E and the I.D.

Müller emphasized that this did not mean Volkswagen was turning its back on conventional drive systems.

Despite focusing electric vehicles, Volkswagen remains committed to diesel-powered models as the automaker says modern diesel engines are "part of the solution, not part of the problem".

"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. VW will be investing almost €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. The R&D ratio, total research and development expenditure as a percentage of the Automotive Division's sales revenue, decreased to 6.7% from 7.3%.

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