TELL it straight, tell it as it is: that’s the approach of Volkswagen AG CEO Matthias Müller who announced that there was only one way forward: electric.
And the VW Group was going to be the world leader.
“The future is electric. We intend to be the No. 1 in e-mobility by 2025,” he told the Hanover AGM.
Müller said that intensive efforts were underway to help achieve the breakthrough of this technology. But at the same time, the VW Group would continue developing diesel and petrol engines, to ensure they were even more efficient and eco-friendly.
The future is electric. We intend to be the No. 1 in e-mobility by 2025
“Conventional engines will remain indispensable for the foreseeable future,” Müller explained to shareholders.
“In order to provide affordable, sustainable mobility on a large scale we will continue to deploy the complete spectrum of drive types: from conventional to fully electric.
Müller outlined the Group’s drivetrain strategy, explaining that the 12-brand Group had invested some 3bn euros in alternative drive technologies over the past five years and would triple this amount over the next five years.
“This is how the Group will be rolling out more than 10 new electrified models by the end of 2018. By 2025, we will be adding over 30 more battery electric vehicles,” which would be developed by the newly-established Center of Excellence in Salzgitter to bundle Group-wide competence in battery cells and modules, while also investigating technical alliances In China.
Diesel will remain indispensable for the foreseeable future
Nevertheless, the modern internal combustion engines would be with us for some time yet. Muller went on:
“This applies especially to the Euro 6 diesel, despite the current heated debate. The internal combustion engine primarily is part of the solution, not part of the problem.”
And he added: “124 years after it was invented, the diesel engine still has plenty of potential. And we intend to exploit that potential. By 2020, we will have made our internal combustion engines between 10 and 15 percent more efficient, and therefore also cleaner. This will help protect the environment and conserve resources.”
VW said it would be investing 10bn euros in these technologies by 2022.