Matthias Müller pledges electric car model blitz, while launching staunch defence of diesel engines

The Volkswagen Group will invest around £7.5 billion into developing electric and alternative drivetrain cars in the next five years, with plans to launch more than 30 battery-powered models by 2025.

Speaking at the Group’s annual general meeting, CEO Matthias Müller also launched a staunch defence of diesel engines, saying that they will remain 'indispensable' for the foreseeable future.

The £7.5bn investment is part of the Group's plans to become the market leader in e-mobility as part of the Together - Strategy 2025 plan. Volkswagen has already invested £2.5bn in developing alternative drive technology over the past five years.

Volkswagen Sedric concept revealed at Geneva

Speaking about the investment plan, Müller said: “This is how we will be rolling out more than ten new electrified models by the end of 2018. By 2025, we will be adding more than 30 more BEVs [battery-electric vehicles].”

ID Crozz concept launched

The Volkswagen Group has established a centre of excellence at its Salzgitter factory in Germany tasked with developing battery cells and modules, and is also negotiating with potential partners in Europe and China.

“Volkswagen is becoming faster, more focused and more customer-driven,” added Müller. “We are transforming Volkswagen from an automaker into a globally leading mobility provider.”

Müller defends diesel engines

While Müller believes that “the future is electric”, he said that conventional petrol and diesel-engined cars remain hugely important to the Group. Despite the ongoing fallout from the Dieselgate scandal and current controversy over diesel emissions, Müller said: “Diesel will remain indispensable for the foreseeable future.” 

Autocar insight: is it time to give up on diesel engines?

He added: “This applies also and especially to the Euro 6 diesel, despite the current heated debate.

“The internal combustion engine is primarily part of the solution, not part of the problem. 124 years after it was invented, the diesel engine still has plenty of potential, and we intend to exploit that potential.

“By 2020, we will have made our internal combustion engines between 10 and 15% more efficient, and therefore also cleaner. This will help protect the environment and conserve resources.”

Review: Volkswagen e-Golf

Join the debate

Comments
8

10 May 2017
At the pace technology moves at VW the promise for the Volkswagen to put 10 electrified vehicles on the road basically translates as one EV under 10 different badges. Meanwhile they would keep on selling millions of dirty diesel to unsuspecting buyers. Why doesn't Muller publish Jones Day report into his company's corruption that will help the European buyers decide what is better for them? What is Volkswagen hiding?

10 May 2017
fadyady wrote:

At the pace technology moves at VW the promise for the Volkswagen to put 10 electrified vehicles on the road basically translates as one EV under 10 different badges. Meanwhile they would keep on selling millions of dirty diesel to unsuspecting buyers. Why doesn't Muller publish Jones Day report into his company's corruption that will help the European buyers decide what is better for them? What is Volkswagen hiding?

Oh please stop with your anti-diesel hyperbole already.

10 May 2017
Diesel remains indispensable to VAG. But indispensable to the customer? For increasing numbers, the answer is no.

10 May 2017
To flesh that statement out with some facts, is it really the case that the customer is leaving the diesel powered cars in the showroom while buying alternatives? be good to get some facts and figures on this, can you give us any numbers scrap?

 Offence can only be taken not given- so give it back!

10 May 2017
scrap wrote:

Diesel remains indispensable to VAG. But indispensable to the customer? For increasing numbers, the answer is no.

If one is doing high mileage, diesel is still the only logical choice right now. So your claim is wildly unsubstantiated I believe. For long distances, nox emissions are scattered so as to be relatively harmless. Also, you conveniently forget that modern turbocharged petrol engines are also emitting more nox than was the norm.

10 May 2017
Volkswagen is slipping back into its old habits: The rhetoric is all about getting the most electric vehicles to market in the shortest possible time, it's DSG, twin-charger, and emissions devices all over again. When will they learn that we want the best developed and most thoroughly researched solutions, not the most rushed ones.

11 May 2017
This time VW forgets that whilst EU politicians might be in Merkel's and the German car industry's pocket the rest of the world (including standalone Brexit Britain: I knew there was a reason we left after all...) are not.

Unless you want to drag a bowser of urea/ad blue around on a tow-hook Diesel , at least for personal passenger transportation, ain't coming back....

BertoniBertone

11 May 2017
Why is this magazine reporting what this particular car company has to say regarding fuel?...why?

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK