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Volkswagen goes big on Roadmap E

CEO Matthias Müller discusses Roadmap E at the VW annual conference.

Sixteen locations worldwide will produce EVs by the end of 2022, as Volkwagen secures 20 billion euros of battery orders

Ever since the “dieselgate” scandal Volkswagen Group has been bullish on its new investments in electrification and EV production. Currently, it produces EVs at three locations, with a further nine plants scheduled to be equipped within the next two years.

On March 13 it also confirmed it had secured partnerships for vital battery supplies. Contracts with manufacturers in both Europe and China have been agreed, with a total volume of around 20 billion euros (US$24.7 billion). Meanwhile, a similar deal to secure a North American supplier is expected soon, it said.

Suppliers include LG Chem, Samsung and China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd (CATL), as unlike some automakers, VW does not intend to produce power packs itself.

“Building up expertise and mastering the technology does not necessarily imply that we want to start large-scale assembly of batteries ourselves,” CEO Matthias Müller told media. “Others can do it better than we can.”

“Over the last few months, we have pulled out all the stops to implement Roadmap E with the necessary speed and determination,” Müller said, addressing the Group’s Annual Media Conference in Berlin. The so-called Roadmap E programme would see the group build up to three million EVs annually by 2025 and market 80 new electric models.

This year it will add a further nine electrified vehicles, three of which will be pure battery EVs. From 2019, there will be a new electric vehicle “virtually every month”, Müller said: “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.”

However, the company will invest the same amount in its conventional drive systems this year alone: “We are putting almost EUR 20 billion into our conventional vehicle and drive portfolio in 2018, with a total of more than EUR 90 billion scheduled over the next five years,” said Müller.

A separate Committee chaired by CEO Müller is advancing digitalization in the Group, a key issue for the future. “The future of mobility is gradually taking shape, as is the future of the Volkswagen Group,” Müller said. The best example of this is SEDRIC, which has enabled the Volkswagen Group to demonstrate the potential of fully autonomous driving for the first time. SEDRIC will soon be “leaving the Group for refinement into a series product at one of our brands,” Müller announced.

 

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