Volkswagen announced on Friday (Nov 17th) that they have initiated a 34 billion euro ($40 bln) spending plan, with the focus on clean energy fuelled vehicles.
This will see the Volkswagen company step into the electric car market in a significant way, taking on rivals Tesla Inc and Toyota.
VW remains the world’s largest car manufacturer (as measured by unit sales) and the new funding will be allocated towards ‘electric cars, autonomous driving and new mobility services by the end of 2022‘.
The company has been flirting with the concept of electric cars for some time, having unveiled their first long-distance model last year, but progress has been slow and inconsistent. This move shows a determined effort on the part of VW to focus on clean energy.
Whether or not this is a direct result of the recent emissions scandal which plagued the company is open for speculation, but Chief Executive Matthias Mueller made a statement which said;
“With the planning round now approved, we are laying the foundation for making Volkswagen the world’s No. 1 player in electric mobility by 2025.”
In a Reuters report, the challenges of electric cars are outlined, but also the impetus on speediness of change, largely due to stricter incoming laws in countries such as China:
“New Chinese quotas for electric cars, prompted a strategic shift to zero-emission and self-driving technology, and Volkswagen now has one of the most ambitious targets in the industry. It has pledged to offer an electric version of each of its 300 group models by 2030.
The group said its total investments in electric vehicles capacity and projects will amount to about 72 billion euros by 2022.”
VW added that “Investments of more than 1 billion euros will be assigned to a plant in Zwickau, eastern Germany to ramp up electric-car production at the site, which in future will only make zero-emission vehicles.”
Whether VW can meet their ambitious goals remains to be seen, but one thing’s for sure and that’s if more companies are racing towards a greener future, then that benefits everyone on the planet.