Volkswagen is making another electric vehicle pledge, this time with promises to bring 80 new electrified vehicles to customers by 2025 and offer customers at least one electrified version of every model across the company by 2030.
That translates into 300 models across all Volkswagen Group brands, which include Audi, Porsche and Volkswagen. Even Bentley and Lamborghini will be part of VW's new "Roadmap E" plan.
Keep in mind, this doesn't always mean a pure electric car. An electrified vehicle could mean a gas-electric hybrid or a plug-in hybrid. For instance, VW's 80 new electric cars goal for 2025, includes about 50 purely battery-powered vehicles and 30 plug-in hybrids.
VW isn't ditching the internal combustion engine, however. The company sees internal combustion engine as a "bridge to an emission-free age."
"For the time being, we will be offering the entire powertrain spectrum—from conventional to fully-electric—to enable sustainable and affordable mass mobility," Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller said in ahead of the Frankfurt Motor Show. "We are not being arbitrary. We are listening to the voice of reason."
VW estimates that around one in four of its group's new vehicles—or up to three million units a year depending on how the market develops—could be purely battery-powered in 2025. VW has earmarked more than €20 billion ($25 billion) through 2030 that will be spent on electrification.
To meet this goal, VW says it will need more than 150 gigawatt hours of battery capacity annually by 2025 for its own fleet of electric cars. To meet this demand, VW says it has put out a more than €50 billion ($59.8 billion) procurement tender to buy the batteries it needs.
VW shifted its business towards electric vehicles in late 2015. The move was largely in response to stricter emissions rules globally and fallout from the diesel emissions scandal that erupted in September 2015 when the EPA issued a formal notice of violation relating to nearly 500,000 2.0-liter diesel cars. The company has spent hundreds of millions fighting lawsuits, paying penalties and fines, and buying back or fixing these tainted cars.
Volkswagen's board adopted in June 2016 a plan to reshape the company's core automotive business to focus more on electric vehicles and autonomous driving technology, boost profit margins 7% to 8% from 6% from 2015, and possibly sell some of its assets. Müller vowed, at the time, that the company would launch more than 30 all-electric vehicles over the coming decade with a goal of selling two to three million of these EVs in 2025.
The initial plan aimed to bring a new generation of fully connected, all-electric vehicles to the market in 2020 based on Volkswagen's new modular design for electric cars that it introduced in 2016. The first vehicles produced with this so-called MEB design are expected to be in production by the end of 2019. The MEB is a flexible modular system—really a matrix of common parts—for producing electric vehicles. The company says this toolkit will allow the automaker to build electric vehicles more efficiently.