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14 March 2018, 01:58 | Kelvin Horton
Experts warn that new emissions tests could be near impossible to pass
When it launched Roadmap E in Europe in the third quarter of previous year, the Volkswagen Group projected it would deliver 80 new EVs from two EV architectures.
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.
Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller (L) and CFO Frank Witter pose next to the self-driving auto Sederic at the annual earnings news conference of VW in Berlin in Berlin, Germany, March 13, 2018.
The Volkswagen Group kicked off "Roadmap E" a year ago which it says is the most comprehensive electrification drive in the automotive industry.
Critically, the German automaker has already secured battery supply contracts for vehicles that will be sold in Europe and China, with contracts worth Euro 20 billion (~$25 billion USD). A supplier decision for North America will be taken shortly.
"This 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", Müller insisted.
Speaking at the Volkswagen Group's Annual Media Conference in Berlin, CEO Matthias Müller revealed that probably sooner than later VW is aiming to become the number one electric vehicle producer. This year, another nine new vehicles, three of which will be purely electric-powered, will be added to the Group's electric portfolio of eight e-cars and plug-in hybrids.
Diesel's market share in Germany has slumped to just 33 percent since September 2015, when Volkswagen admitted to cheating regulators' tests for harmful emissions on 11 million vehicles worldwide.
"We are making massive investments in the mobility of tomorrow, but without neglecting current technologies and vehicles that will continue to play an important role for decades to come", said Muller.
Volkswagen says that pushing for electric vehicles does not mean internal combustion units would die. The company also plans to invest more than €90 ($111.6) billion in conventional vehicles over the course of the next five years.
"Sales revenue for the Volkswagen Group is expected to be up by as much as 5% on the prior-year figure", the German-based manufacturer said.
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.
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