Volkswagen bet its future on electric vehicles, announcing plans to launch 30 new EVs shortly after its $18.2 billion emissions scandal. The automaker has now revealed that it intends to spend $193 billion over the next five years on various aspects of its electrification efforts. According to The New York Times, Volkswagen CEO Oliver Blume stated at a press event that two-thirds of that budget will be spent on battery manufacturing, software development, and sourcing critical and raw materials for its vehicles.
Blume’s announcement comes on the heels of the automaker’s announcements that its subsidiary PowerCo will build its first North American battery cell factory in Canada and that it will manufacture electric pickups and SUVs in South Carolina. After repurposing its Chattanooga, Tennessee factory in 2022, the company is already producing its ID.4 electric vehicles in the United States. However, Volkswagen’s electrification efforts lag behind those of its main competitors, and the company is aiming to gain a stronger foothold in North America as well as become more competitive in China. The company regards those regions as its two most important markets, which it must conquer if it is to meet its objectives. Volkswagen has previously stated that it expects electric vehicles to account for approximately 55 percent of its sales in the United States by 2030.
For the time being, the automaker will continue to produce petrol vehicles while working to expand its EV lineup with more models, including affordable ones priced around $26,000. However, Volkswagen’s chief financial and operating officer, Arno Antlitz, spoke about the company’s future direction: “We must evolve into a technology and mobility services company. We need to focus on our platforms, such as our hardware for battery-powered electric vehicles, a unified software stack, batteries, mobility, autonomous driving.”