Executives at Volkswagen approved on Friday a new 5-year spending plan that will see more than €34 billion (~$40 billion) spent on electric vehicles, self-driving vehicle tech, and so-called new mobility services by the end of 2022.
The new plan, which was approved following a supervisory board meeting, is reportedly intended to “further the German automaker’s goal of transforming itself into a leading force in electric cars,” as worded by Reuters.
Volkswagen is of course already one of the top manufacturers in Europe when it comes to electric vehicle sales — mostly down to strong sales in Germany and in Norway — but sales outside of the region have remained lackluster (or, often enough, non-existent), and it seems likely that without major changes that the firm will fall behind manufacturers that are developing electric vehicles more aggressively.
“With the planning round now approved, we are laying the foundation for making Volkswagen the world’s number one player in electric mobility by 2025,” stated Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller.
Reuters provides more: “Total group investments by 2022 will total about €72 billion, the group said, confirming an earlier Reuters story…Until it admitted two years ago to cheating on US diesel emissions tests, Volkswagen had been slow to embrace electric cars and self-driving technology.”
“But the emissions fraud plus new Chinese quotas for electric cars have prompted a strategic shift to zero-emission and self-driving technology with VW now pledging to offer an electric version of each of its 300 group models by 2030.”
In other words, company execs have slowly realized that the market is leaving them behind, and efforts are now underway to catch back up.