Volkswagen, one of the largest producers of U.S. purchased cars (selling approximately 340,000 units in 2017), understands that the future of automotive technology is electric. Which is why the German automaker announced today that their vehicle production over the next 10 years will be up to 50% electric. The car manufacturer also stated that they intend to produce around 22 million battery electric vehicles (BEVs) by 2029. By 2025 the company insists they will have no fewer than 50 BEVs added to their lineup.
According to VW’s CEO Herbert Diess
Likening his company to a “supertanker…picking up speed,” Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess said Tuesday that the automaker is increasing by 50 percent the number of electric vehicles it plans to produce over the next decade.
The goal is to build 22 million battery electric vehicles, or BEVs, over the next decade, up from a previous target of 15 million, he said. The move is widely expected to put a strain on the German automaker’s bottom line. Profit margins on electrified vehicles are significantly below conventionally powered products with many all-electric models sold at a loss, according to industry analysts.
The announcement made by Diess during the automaker’s annual news conference underscores the rapid shift in focus for a company long dependent on diesels. VW has been shifting away from so-called “oil burners” since acknowledging in 2015 that it rigged emissions tests on vehicles using several of its diesel engines.
The automaker has since paid more than $30 billion in fines and settlements. It has also seen a sharp decline in sales of diesel-powered products, the VW brand itself no longer offering them in the critical U.S. market. Electric vehicles are expected to pick up the slack.
“The supertanker is picking up speed,” Diess said Tuesday in a speech in Frankfurt. “We are aligning Volkswagen with e-mobility like no other company in our industry.”
2019 Volkswagen e-Golf (BEV)
VIDEO: 2017 VW e-Golf Versatility
What All this Means to Car Buyers
At the Geneva Motor Show last week, Volkswagen’s Audi brand just introduced four new plugin hybrid cars. But the auto producer is placing a premium on BEVs, with only a few currently available and of these cars, they have limited range; such as the e-Golf. The new BEVs Volkswagen plans to introduce by 2025 are anticipated to have a 200-mile-plus range. This new wave of BEVs are anticipated to hit U.S. dealerships later this year.
While specific details haven’t been released, the automaker has broadly hinted that it will target the low end of the market. Juergen Stackmann, VW’s board member overseeing sales, said it will be priced between $24,000 to $32,000, depending upon the size of its battery pack. The cheapest version will provide 206 miles of range.
Volkswagen’s BEV Concept Cars (Not Currently Available to Buy)
The new model — which German news reports have suggested will be called the “Neo” — will mark the debut of an entirely new sub-brand, Volkswagen I.D., devoted solely to battery-electric vehicles. Moving forward, it will comprise a broad line-up of BEVs, ranging from entry-level models up to large sedans and SUVs, as well as an all-electric makeover of Volkswagen’s classic, hippie-era Microbus, the I.D. Buzz.
VIDEO: Volkswagen I.D. at Geneva Auto Show
Images gathered from VW.com.