Main Volkswagen brand speeds up shift to electric

Good News Notes:

Volkswagen wants electric vehicles to make up the majority of European sales for its core brand by 2030, it said on Friday, the latest carmaker to accelerate the shift towards battery-powered models.

Fully electric vehicles are expected to account for more than 70% of its total European vehicle sales by 2030, compared with a previous target of 35%, the world’s second-largest carmaker said as it unveiled its ‘Accelerate’ strategy.

‘With Accelerate we are increasing the speed on our path to a digital future,’ said Ralf Brandstaetter, who heads the Volkswagen brand and also sits on the group’s management board.

‘In the coming years, we will change Volkswagen as never before,’ he added, saying that integrating data and software functions into cars would open up new sources of revenue.

Challenged by Apple, Google and Amazon, Volkswagen also plans to offer self-driving vehicles and wants to develop operating systems – the heart of future electric cars – on its own to cash in on data-based business models.

‘If you place that into the hands of a third party you can no longer develop these business models yourself,’ Brandstaetter said.

Volkswagen has earmarked around 16 billion euros ($19 billion) for investment in the future trends of e-mobility, hybridization and digitalisation up to 2025.

The group had been a laggard on electrification until it admitted in 2015 to cheating on U.S. diesel emissions tests and had to deal with new Chinese quotas for electric vehicles.

This prompted a strategic shift to zero-emission and self-driving technology, and it now has one of the most ambitious programmes in the industry.”

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