Volkswagen Group earmarking $11.8 billion to develop, build China electric cars

Pauline Gross
November 18, 2017

Volkswagen AG and its Chinese partners will jointly invest almost $12 billion by 2025 in developing electric cars for the local market, VW's China chief executive said.

The European auto maker's venture with Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group will start production of electric vehicles in the first half of next year, while sales will start in the second half.

While existing automakers in China scramble to meet the next quota level of 3 percent to 4 percent EV contribution to total output by 2019, it presents a huge opportunity for companies like Volkswagen, who have recently committed to a fully electrified future.

The group, which includes Volkswagen and Audi, intends to launch 15 of the so-called new energy vehicles (NEV) models over the next two to three years, and an additional 25 after 2025, China chief Jochem Heizmann told Reuters yesterday. It earmarked another €50bn to buy the batteries needed to power the vehicles.

This comes before a new joint venture with new partner Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group (JAC Motors).

Executives and labour leaders have also been haggling over decisions on where to build electric cars and pool related resources, complicated by the influence of Lower Saxony, VW's home state and No. 2 shareholder where six of the carmaker's 10 German plants are located.

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Mueller said VW will maintain spending discipline in order to shoulder the increased investments in new technologies while it grapples with billions of dollars of costs for its emissions scandal.

There have been a range of electric vehicle deals and new launches as manufacturers ensure they meet NEV production and sales quotas by 2019 in China.

Heizmann said, "We need high volumes of new energy vehicles... we are working on full speed on that".

By delaying the implementation year to 2019 and allowing auto makers to combine credits in 2019 and 2020, it was no longer a major challenge for VW to fulfil the demand, he said.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance forecasts that adoption of emission-free vehicles will happen more quickly than previously estimated because the cost of building cars is falling fast.

Other reports by GizPress

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