Volkswagen has stepped up its shift toward the electric car and is planning to invest over €20 billion or $24 billion in the zero-emission vehicles by 2030 as it tries to challenge the pioneer in the industry Tesla in creating mass market vehicles.
The largest automaker in the world by sales announced Monday that it would roll out 80 electric cars throughout its many brands by 2025, which is up from its goal set previously of 30, and by 2030 wanted to offer at least one electric vehicle of each of its 300 models across its brands.
The Germany automaker previously had said it would spend over €10 billion before 2025 in electric vehicles.
Up to the point it admitted in 2015 to cheating on diesel emissions tests in the U.S., Volkswagen was slow to embrace electric car technology.
However, following the scandal a strategic shift was prompted, while major steps forward in batteries and the global fight against pollution following the scandal have increased pressure on automakers to speed up the development of alternatives that are zero-emission.
CEO at Volkswagen Matthias Mueller said that a company such as Volkswagen must be the leader and not a follower. He added that VW is setting the scene for a final breakthrough in e-mobility.
The so-called VW I.D. model is set to compete with the least expensive Tesla car, which is its new Model 3 sedan with a base price of $35,000, for the mass market.
The move by VW mirrors the announcements from German rivals.
Daimler said Monday that its luxury brand Mercedes-Benz planned to offer an electric motor in all its models before the end of 2022, although it cautioned that the shift to electric cars that are lower margin required additional cost savings.
On Thursday, BMW, which launched its electric car 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.
An increase in restrictions and charges for gasoline and diesel vehicles have spurred on an increase of electric cars, though analyst said big investments in power networks and charging points are needed to serve the mass market.
The largest automotive market in the world, China is studying when to end production and sales of combustion engine vehicles, which echoes the moves by France and Britain, with both announcing bans starting in 2040 for conventional cars.