VW to build EVs at 16 factories by 2022

Volkswagen shares rise as car maker announces expansions of electric car production

Volkswagen Group to expand EV production worldwide to 16 sites by end of 2022; partnerships with battery manufacturers

Currently, VW produces battery operated vehicles in just three of its factories and in just two years another nine factory locations would be equipped for this goal.

Volkswagen confirmed at its annual media conference that it's going to bring one of its most eccentric concepts to production - the all-electric Sedric shuttle, which is more tiny pod bus than auto, will eventually actually get made, after its design is refined by one of the Volkswagen Group's portfolio brands through a further development process.

VW's emissions scandal, new Chinese quotas for electric cars and tightening rules on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in Europe are causing automakers to focus on green cars and self-driving technology.

"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", says Müller.

"Over the last few months, we have pulled out all the stops to implement "Roadmap E" with the necessary speed and determination", Muller added.

The Volkswagen Group kicked off "Roadmap E" a year ago which it says is the most comprehensive electrification drive in the automotive industry.

It's not clear which companies are getting the $25 billion worth of contracts in Europe and China, but I can't imagine that it doesn't mean a significant production increase over the period of the contracts.

The three new electric vehicles are just the tip of the iceberg as Müller said the Volkswagen Group will introduce a new electric vehicle "virtually every month" starting in 2019.

VW's aggressive EV plan comes as a range of automakers commit to an all-electric future and set ambitious production targets for electric vehicles.

In an interview with Reuters TV, Mueller denied top management had a pessimistic view on VW's business prospects in 2018, but said potential bottlenecks as carmakers rush to get models through new so-called WLTP lab tests for emissions and fuel consumption were causing uncertainty. About 500,000 diesel vehicles with "defeat" devices were sold between 2009 and 2015 in the USA and another 11 million worldwide.

The Volkswagen Group says that it has the financial resources for the transformation. By 2025, Müller said, VW Group will be building 3 million EVs a year globally. "Even after deducting special items, this is the best operating profit that the Volkswagen Group has ever achieved". At €12.6 (US$15.5) billion, investments in property, plant and equipment in the Automobile Division remained at the previous year's level. These expenses in the 2017 fiscal year were mainly attributable to higher expenses for the buy-back and retrofitting programmes for 2.0 l and 3.0 l TDI vehicles in North America and to higher legal risks.

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