VW increases EV, technology investments; boosts German production

BERLIN — Volkswagen Group is boosting EV and battery production in Germany as part of its plans to invest 73 billion euros ($86 billion) in e-mobility, hybrid technology and digitalization over the next five years.

About 35 billion euros ($41 billion) will be invested in full-electric cars and 11 billion euros ($13 billion) has been earmarked for the development of hybrid versions of existing models, VW said in a statement on Friday.

The investment is part of VW Group’s new five-year planning cycle, agreed by the supervisory board on Friday.

The spending increase is based on the expectation that the global economy will grow moderately over the next five years, VW said.

The investment envisages production of about 26 million full-electric cars in Europe, China and the U.S. by 2030.

Some 19 million of these will be based on the automaker’s Modular Electric Drive Toolkit, with most of the remaining 7million to use the high-performance PPE platform.

VW said it estimates production of around 7 million hybrid vehicles over the same period.

It plans to spend 27 billion euros ($32 billion) on digitalization, around twice as much as in its previous planning period.

This includes spending on the group’s Car.Software organization launched earlier this year. The goal is to build a proprietary software stack, which will be deployed in Audi’s Artemis project to develop an advanced, self-driving electric vehicle by 2024.

The company’s own share in software is to increase to 60 percent from 10 percent. In addition, a large share of the funds earmarked for digitalization will be invested in the mission-critical fields of artificial intelligence, autonomous driving and digitalization of significant business processes, VW said.

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