VW to vastly ramp up electric vehicles

by Linda Olson September 13, 2017, 0:07
VW to vastly ramp up electric vehicles

The Volkswagen Group will launch 80 new electrified models between its brands by 2025 - and will offer an electrified version of every model the company sells by 2030.

Volkswagen has stepped up its shift toward the electric auto and is planning to invest over €20 billion or $24 billion in the zero-emission vehicles by 2030 as it tries to challenge the pioneer in the industry Tesla in creating mass market vehicles. The initiative includes 80 new electrified models by 2025-50 all-electric models, and 30 plug-in hybrids.

That's according to company CEO Matthias Mueller, who said that VW will continue to develop diesel powertrains, despite the emissions scandal of 2015.

Achieving that will require a huge number of batteries. VW expects up to one in four of its new models to be all-electric by that time, and plans to purchase over 150 gigawatt-hours of lithium-ion batteries to power all of those cars.

Previously, the German auto giant had announced a plan to invest 10 billion euros by the year of 2025 to make a shift to environment-friendly electric vehicles. A big name like Volkwagen investing this kind of money is sure to have a fallout far beyond the reaches of this vast company and will spur other automakers down the same path too. "We are listening to the voice of reason", said Müller. In Europe, and particularly in the automotive stronghold of Germany, much more needs to be done.

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"Then it is up to customers to decide how fast it will gain widespread acceptance", said Müller. "I'm convinced this will succeed if politicians, the energy industry and automakers work in harness". Of the 80 vehicles, 50 will be fully electric and nearly 30 will have a plug-in hybrid powertrain.

Similar to the original microbus, the revamped electric version will also be offered as a cargo van, VW says, aimed at a commercial market in various cities where emissions regulations are making internal combustion-engined vehicles more expensive to operate. We are not being arbitrary.

The head of VW said that at this stage the company can not completely abandon the internal combustion engines since the infrastructure for electric vehicles is not ready yet. Conventional drive systems are not opponents. All new gasoline engines will be equipped with a particulate filter across the board.

Fuel cells and synthetically-generated carbon neutral fuels were also mentioned, but Volkswagen is yet to divulge more details about those programs.

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