Volkswagen invests €44 billion on electric cars, autonomous driving and new mobility services

Volkswagen has pledged to spend €44 billion on technologies for electric cars, autonomous driving and new mobility services, such as ride-sharing, over the next five years. The €44 billion, one-third of total expenditure in the next half-decade, compares with a pledge last year to spend €34 billion on future technologies and underscores increasing moves towards the switch to battery-powered vehicles. Herbert Diess, chief executive of the world’s largest carmaker, said €30 billion of the money will be spent on electric vehicles. Mr Diess added that VW’s coming wave of electric cars, beginning late next year with the ID hatchback, will be far superior to its current line-up. They will offer 450-550 kilometres of range, be capable of fast-refuelling, and the charging infrastructure around Europe will be “ubiquitous” thanks to the efforts of Ionity, a joint-project with BMW, Daimler and Ford… The 12-brand VW Group, which includes Porsche, Audi, and Skoda, is targeting a 30 per cent production efficiency increase by 2025, at which point Volkswagen plans to sell 50 different pure-electric models and another 30 plug-in hybrids.

Patrick McGee