Volkswagen votes $50b on electric cars



German auto giant Volkswagen said Friday it will invest 44 billion euros by 2023 in the smarter, greener cars of the future as it ramps up efforts to shake off the “dieselgate” emissions cheating scandal.

Over the coming five years, VW said it aims to spend “almost 44 billion euros” ($50 billion) on electric, self-driving and connected cars as well as mobility services like car sharing.
The figure represents roughly a third of the group’s planned expenditure between now and 2023, and the bulk of it will go on developing e-cars, VW said following a supervisory board meeting on future strategy.
Volkswagen’s “electric offensive” underscores just how serious the automaker is about closing the gap with Asian competitors and US tech giant Tesla who have had a head start in the e-car race.
“We want to make Volkswagen the global number one in e-mobility,” CEO Herbert Diess told reporters.
“The time has come to take further technology and product decisions to achieve that goal.”

Diess additionally confirmed that VW was “currently in talks” on teaming up with US competitor Ford in building light commercial vehicles, which would involve sharing factories.
But he stayed coy on speculation that the cooperation could extend into electric and autonomous car manufacturing.
Diess said partnerships were becoming necessary to achieve cost savings at a time when the industry is undergoing an expensive transformation.
Looking further ahead, VW said it was still “exploring the potential” of manufacturing its own batteries for electric cars as concern grows in Europe about the Asian dominance in battery cell production.

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