Volkswagen vows to dominate electric car market by 2025
Frankfurt - Volkswagen is aiming to dominate the electric car market by 2025 as it accelerates the pace to catch up with US pioneer Tesla.
Volkswagen sold 422 000 electrified vehicles in 2020. Of those, 230 000 were fully electric cars - or three times more than in 2019 - and the remainder were petrol-electric hybrids.
The company is now expecting to sell a million electrified vehicles this year, the group said in a statement.
"In 2025 at the latest, the group wants to be the world leader in the electric mobility market," it added.
The car giant which owns 12 brands from Audi to Porsche to Seat will be investing 46 billion euros (R820 billion) in its electric switch over the next five years.
One in 10 cars sold in 2020 in Europe were electric ones after Volkswagen put its key model ID.3 on the market. That is five-fold jump from 1.9 percent in 2019.
VW expects electric cars to make up 60 percent of its car sales in Europe by 2030. One in two vehicles sold by the group globally would also be electric by then.
Nevertheless, it did not announce a date to end production of its more affordable combustion engine cars, as chief executive Herbert Diess expects the sale of these vehicles to contribute to "financing the transition" to greener options.
In 2035, "the majority of cars will have an electric engine and more than 40 percent will be moving autonomously," he said.
Volkswagen said on Monday that it would set up six battery factories and significantly expand charging points in Europe, laying down the infrastructure as it plans to launch 27 electric models by 2022.
VW's all-electric ID.3 became the second best-selling car in Europe last December, and the brand has US pioneer Tesla in its sights with its 2021 ID.4 SUV model.
Tesla has upped the pressure on major German carmakers such as Volkswagen in recent years with its plans to open a manufacturing plant outside Berlin next July.
Volkswagen's electric push was also accelerated by the "dieselgate" scandal, which rocked Germany's car industry and cost the company dearly in both cash and reputational harm.