Left to right: Volkswagen ID, ID Buzz and ID Crozz concepts
VW has been busy putting logistics in place to build as many as 15 million examples of 50 new electric models (across its portfolio of brands) by 2028.
At its annual conference at its headquarters in Wolfsburg Tuesday, the company upped that commitment to 22 million cars among 70 new electric models in a second wave of models based on its new MEB electric-car architecture, which is designed to be affordable.
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The company projected that by 2040, 70 percent of new cars sold in Europe will be electric, and another 10 to 20 percent will consist of plug-in hybrids. The U.S. may be slightly lower, with 60 percent battery-electric cars by then, while China will be even higher with 85 percent battery electrics by 2040.
“Volkswagen will change radically," said CEO Herbert Diess. "We are taking on responsibility with regard to the key trends of the future—particularly in connection with climate protection.”
The company has named four potential suppliers for batteries for its new cars, including LG Chem, CATL, Samsung, and SK Innovation. Farther out, VW is working toward developing solid-state batteries, which could be sourced in Europe.
At the meeting, VW also announced plans to become carbon neutral as a company, including its production, by 2050 by reducing its own consumption and waste, switching to renewable energy for its factories and buildings, and offsetting other emissions that it can't avoid. The company is working on drawing up a roadmap to do that, starting with how it acquires steel and aluminum to build cars.
It is converting its primary electric-car factory in Zwickau, where it will build the ID models on the MEB platform, from coal power to natural gas.
The company says it will install 400 Ionity fast-chargers along major highways in Europe by 2020, one every 75 miles, including 100 in Germany. It will also install 3,500 workplace chargers for employees at its facilities and for customers at its dealerships.
Volkswagen has also announced plans to develop a new product line called Elli to bring renewable energy services and smart chargers to its electric-car customers to help them reduce their carbon footprint as well.
VW plans to introduce the ID hatchback in Europe later this year, followed by the electric small SUV (based on the ID Crozz concept) in Europe and the U.S. next year and eventually the ID Buzz electric Microbus recreation in 2021. The company also announced plans at last week's Geneva auto show to license its MEB platform to other automakers.