The Volkswagen Group has further expanded its electrification plans, with a commitment to spend more than £50 billion on the development of electric and hybrid technology in the next five years.
The investment plan for 2020 to 2024 – involving around £28 billion to be spent on electric models and £23 on hybrid and digital tech – has been approved by the Volkswagen Group Supervisory Board at a Planning Round meeting. The Volkswagen Group says that represents an increase in research spending of around 10 percentage points from the previous investment plan.
As part of the plan, Volkswagen Group chiefs have further expanded the planned roll-out of electrified models for the next ten years across its brands, which include Audi, Bentley, Porsche, Seat, Skoda and Volkswagen. It aims to launch up to 75 all-electric models – five more than previous plans outlined earlier this year – and around 60 hybrids.
The Volkswagen Group now plans to produce around 26 million fully electric cars and nearly six million hybrids by the end of 2029. Notably, of the 26 million full EVs, it expects around 20 million to be based on its bespoke MEB platform, which is being introduced with the Volkswagen ID 3, with “most of” the remaining six million to use the high-performance PPE platform that's being developed by Porsche and Audi.
That six million car target for the PPE platform is the clearest indicator yet that it will be widely used throughout the Volkswagen Group, and not just by Audi and Porsche. The architecture is designed for full-size luxury cars and SUVs, and features an 800V system that's capable of 350kW fast-charging.
Volkswagen Group boss Herbert Diess said the plans show that the firm would “step up the pace again in the coming years with our investments.” He added: “Hybridisation, electrification and digitalisation of our fleet are becoming an increasingly important area of focus. We intend to take advantage of economies of scale and achieve maximum synergies.”