Volkswagen revs up electric shift with $24 billion, 300-car onslaught

VW's namesake brand, its largest division by sales, will spend 6 billion euros ($7.2 billion) through 2022 on its electric auto program which will be based on the new MEB platform underpinning over 20 purely battery-powered models.

The Volkswagen Group will launch 80 new electrified models between its brands by 2025 - and will offer an electrified version of every model the company sells by 2030. Daimler unveiled its Mercedes-Benz-AMG Project ONE, a low-slung, race-car like two-seat hybrid with an overhead air scoop and a long carbon-fiber tail fin.

By 2025, Volkswagen aims to have 50 purely battery-powered vehicles and 30 hybrid models in its lineup.

"We have got the message and we will deliver". "The transformation in our industry is unstoppable".

The announcement, dubbed "Roadmap E" was made by Volkswagen Group chairman Matthias Mueller at the media opening of its hall at the Frankfurt Motor Show. He added that VW couldn't drop combustion engines entirely just yet, as the infrastructure for electric vehicles isn't in place. Dieter Zetsche, his counterpart at Daimler AG, said he regrets that consumers have lost trust in diesel.

On Thursday, BMW, which launched its electric auto i3 during 2013, said it was preparing factories to mass produce its electric vehicles before the end of 2020, and it pledged to have 12 100% battery power vehicles available by 2025. By 2025, Volkswagen plans to offer 23 all-electric models. With their big cars, German automakers are particularly reliant on diesel in their home market of Europe and had been banking on the fuel-efficient engines to help meet ever tougher emissions rules that will tighten further early next decade. The company is also looking into longer life auto batteries that could in the future offer a driving range of over 370 miles in one charge.

The new metal on show this year includes the highly anticipated Renault Megane RS and its rival, the Hyundai i30 N, along with a host of concepts, including BMW's Tesla-rivalling i Vision Dynamics electric auto. Depending on how the market develops, we're talking here about up to three million e-cars a year.

Volkswagen says the four-door high-riding coupe will ride on an all-electric 4MOTION all-wheel drive system that is equally at home in a city environment as it is on unpaved trails and will have similar handling properties as the Golf GTI.

  • Anthony Vega