Pandemic not stopping electric vehicle freight train
Still planning 33 billion euro in EV spending through 2024
While financial times are tough during this pandemic, and the state of the auto industry has changed greatly since Volkswagen Group announced a big shift to electric vehicles a year ago, but that doesn’t mean that the automaker will be slashing those plans as a result. A new report says that the big spending to go after Tesla and keep rivals in their electric dust will go ahead.
“We are adapting, we are putting more pressure, but we don’t compromise on our technology road map,” Chief Executive Officer Herbert Diess told Bloomberg earlier this month. “Software is becoming an important part of our business, it will be decisive, and electrification was accelerated by Covid and not slowed down. So there’s no reason why we should question the big lanes and the big directions of our planning.”
VW had planned to spend 33 billion euros (CAD 51B) on electric mobility through 2024 to give them one the widest range of electric vehicles in the industry. Despite the looming threat of COVID-19, future plans mean spending will continue.
According to the report, the ID.3 will go global in 2021, finally overcoming software issues that softened the car’s rollout in Europe. The ID.4 crossover will arrive as well, in Germany and China, with US production set for 2022.
Other group launches include the Audi e-tron crossover including the Sportback and GT, while Porsche will have the Taycan Cross Turismo soon. Skoda will begin its own ID.4-based models shortly, too.
It doesn’t mean unlimited spending, as VW has shown it’s willing to cut even iconic brands like Beetle if they no longer fit into the portfolio. Diess said that “We are putting more pressure on the complexity of our product portfolio. We cannot work in every niche which we probably would have liked to.”
They will, however, push hard in software. Audi runs the new-car software part of the business and has announced more than seven billion euros (CAD 10.8B) in investments into a standardised architecture and OS for the entire group. Now all that’s left for us is to wait for those vehicles to start rolling out.