Volkswagen increases R&D spending for electromobility

November 19, 2018 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
In order to accelerate its pace of innovation, vehicle manufacturer Volkswagen has increased its investment in research and development in the areas of digitisation, autonomous driving and electric mobility to 44 billion euros over the next five years - previously the company had "only" estimated 34 billion euros for this.

The company published the figures last Friday after the meeting of its Supervisory Board. The focus of the investments will be on the development of new electrically powered vehicle models. At present, the company has six battery-powered models in its product range; by 2025, there will be more than 50 models. Starting this year, Volkswagen plans to produce approximately one million electric cars annually. For this reason, the company plans to convert two of its plants in Germany to the production of electric cars. In addition, the company plans to build a new plant in Eastern Europe.

Volkswagen has concluded strategic supply agreements with a number of Korean and Chinese battery manufacturers to secure the supply of the associated batteries. These are SKI, CATL, LG Chem and Samsung. The electric cars are to be built on the basis of a uniform modular concept, the "Modular Electrical Drive Matrix" (MEB). Volkswagen is also holding talks with SKI with the aim of participating in the production of battery cells. The demand for battery capacity is enormous - the Volkswagen Group alone expects an annual demand of around 150 gigawatt hours by 2023. There are currently production capacities of around 20 gigawatt hours in Europe.

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