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  6. E-mobility and autonomous driving: Volkswagen invests billions

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44 billion for tomorrow's mobility

Volkswagen wants to become the world’s leading provider of sustainable mobility. To implement this goal resolutely, the Group will be investing almost 44 billion euros over the coming five years on future fields.

Almost 44 billion euros for e-mobility, autonomous driving, new mobility services and the digitalization of vehicles and plants. That’s what the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG decided today. With this step, Volkswagen will focus even more strongly than before on the major topics of the future, and they will make up one-third of the company’s total investments.

Following the Supervisory Board meeting, CEO Herbert Diess noted that Volkswagen will orient itself rigorously toward clean mobility. “And we’re also expanding our production sites for our e-offensive.”  

“E-locations” established, e-car model range grows, cost of e-cars drops

The Supervisory Board’s most recent round of planning resulted in the decision that the plants in Emden and Hanover will be converted to “e-locations”. Together with Zwickau, they will become Europe’s largest network for the production of e-vehicles.

In addition, Volkswagen’s current range of six battery-driven electric models will be expanded by 2025 to encompass more than 50 models, and the share of pure e-cars in the model portfolio will then be between 20 and 25 percent.

As early as 2020, Volkswagen will launch the first model based on the new modular electric toolkit (MEB). That vehicle, the ID., will be the start of a new era in e-mobility. Above all, however, this e-car will be available for the price of today’s Golf Diesel, which will help Volkswagen enable mass-produced e-mobility.

Even though the production of electric vehicles requires fewer manufacturing steps and thus fewer workers, there will be no layoffs for operational reasons at the Emden and Hanover sites.  

Efficiency through multi-brand plants

Volkswagen is creating the preconditions for more efficiency and productivity with a clear platform orientation and significantly less complexity in its plants. The company will rely on multi-brand plants much more strongly than before.

One example: The Volkswagen Passat will not be built in Emden anymore, since the plant there will become a pure e-location. Instead, it will move to our Czech plant in Kvasiny and be produced there together with the Skoda Superb, since they share the same platform.

Cross-brand product families will be bundled to make the most of synergies and cost benefits. “That’s how we’ll exploit the full potential of the Volkswagen Group,” said Oliver Blume, board member for Production.

The goal is to increase production productivity by 30 percent. At the same time, plans call to reduce the environmental burden of the plants by about half – and good progress has been made toward meeting that goal over the last few years.
 

Diess commits to the energy transition

Volkswagen is taking responsibility for climate protection. For example, in the future, production in Zwickau will be CO2-neutral, and thus the ID. will be launched on the market as a completely emission-free e-car.

“However, electromobility alone is not effective climate protection. We need an energy transition alongside the transport transition to truly improve our carbon footprint,” says Diess on LinkedIn. “Today, 60 percent of the power used in Germany is from conventional sources. That has to change.“

Strong together

Partnerships are another significant lever for Volkswagen in shaping the future. Discussions with Ford about an industrial cooperation are making good progress. The two companies complement each other very well in terms of both products and regions.

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