Volkswagen Plans 16 Production Sites For Electric Vehicles By 2022-end

Volkswagen shares rise as car maker announces expansions of electric car production

Volkswagen says a decision for a supplier in North America will be taken soon.

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. The ongoing initiative will see 16 sites around the world become home to battery-powered vehicle production before the end of 2022 - a significant jump from the mere three facilities where VW Group's electric vehicles are now being built.

VW plans to produce as many as 3 million EVs a year by 2025 across its 12 brands, which include the VW marque, as well as Audi, Porsche, Skoda and Seat. He went on to say this rapid roll out 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".

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Pressure has intensified on Volkswagen to overhaul its lineup. Volkswagen reaffirmed its backing for the technology with Mueller calling it "part of the solution", even as Toyota pulls diesel cars from its lineup in Europe, the main market for the vehicles.

Volkswagen plans to launch the first full MEB vehicle, the I.D. hatch, in 2020 as the leader for an entire I.D.

This isn't one single deal. Audi is set to begin deliveries later this year of the all-electric E-tron crossover. The company, which has struggled to secure sources of cobalt, a critical component for modern batteries, said that it's working on ways to reduce the amount of the element needed for its electric cars. In particular, it has been investing in battery projects and global pollution campaigns. "Others can do it better than we can".

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VW's emissions scandal, new Chinese quotas for electric cars and tightening rules on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in Europe are causing automakers to focus on green cars and self-driving technology.

The group's net liquidity at the end of 2017 remained at EUR 22.4 billion even as overall operating profit was reduced by special items from the diesel issue of EUR 3.2 billion in 2017 compared with EUR 6.4 billion in the previous year. The company reiterated a target to lower that ratio to 6 percent by 2020.

Group sales revenue also climbed to a new record in 2017 to 230.7 billion euros (285.8 billion US dollars), up 6.2 percent from a year ago, CFO Frank Witter highlighted. "We are actively guiding the changes in our business", he said. "Not least because we must generate the revenue we will need for our enormous future investments".

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