VW to expand production in electric auto offensive

An agreement to toughen up EU legislation and regulations surrounding vehicle emissions designed to ensure that another ‘dieselgate’ scandal can never re-occur is being held up by the German government which wants more time to agree a compromise

VW has also confirmed that it will add more electrified vehicles to its portfolio this year.

Last year, the company said it will be spending over 50 billion euros on battery technology. Volkswagen is targeting annual production of 3 million electric vehicles by 2025.

So far, Volkswagen's battery play includes partners in Europe and China, where the company sells roughly 80 percent of its vehicles.

Today, the company revealed that it will increase its electric vehicle production capabilities by opening 16 new factories across the world by 2022. The manufacturer who was rocked by "diesel gate" over two years ago, said it will produce battery-powered vehicles at 16 global locations, by 2022.

VW CEO Matthias Müeller told journalists Tuesday in Berlin that 30 electric cars will be launched by 2025, according to Autocar.

The German automaker said that "a supplier decision for North America will be taken shortly".

"This is how we intend to offer the largest fleet of electric vehicles in the world, across all brands and regions, in just a few years", Müller insisted.

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Experts see VW's repeated emphasis on this front as a means of getting rid of the stigma of "dieselgate" of 2015 that has continually haunted the firm.

In 2015, Volkswagen was caught rigging cars to cheat on USA diesel emissions tests and paid more than 20 billion euros in fines and legal settlements.

Sources at VW said Mueller's salary package exceeded the 10 million limit because of perks and retirement provisions that are usually included under HGB rules.

As part of Volkswagen's 20 billion-euro push into electric cars, it's setting up a standalone sub-brand for battery-powered vehicles. VW had to subsequently spend Dollars 29.7 billion to fix consumer-owned vehicles, plus pay a USD 2.8 billion fine to settle U.S. criminal charges. The company, which has struggled to secure sources of cobalt, a critical component for modern batteries, said that it's working on ways to reduce the amount of the element needed for its electric cars.

The Volkswagen Group says that it has the financial resources for the transformation. The company reiterated a target to lower that ratio to 6 percent by 2020.

The group's net liquidity at the end of 2017 remained at EUR 22.4 billion even as overall operating profit was reduced by special items from the diesel issue of EUR 3.2 billion in 2017 compared with EUR 6.4 billion in the previous year.

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