Volkswagen Presents EV Battery Roadmap, Releases Full-Year Earnings

©Volkswagen

Volkswagen presented a roadmap to ramp up its electric-vehicle battery production yesterday and released its full-year 2020 earnings today.

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“The goal of the roadmap is to significantly reduce the complexity and cost of the battery in order to make the electric car attractive and viable for as many people as possible,” Volkswagen said in a statement.

The company announced that it would establish six gigafactories in Europe, with a total production capacity of 240 GWh, by the end of the decade. Volkswagen also said it would expand its global fast-charging network via partnerships with BP, Iberdrola and Enel.

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“Along with its partners, the company intends to operate about 18,000 public fast-charging points in Europe by 2025. This represents a five-fold expansion of the fast-charging network compared to today and corresponds to about one third of the total demand predicted on the continent for 2025,” according to the statement.

In an interview with CNBC, Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess said he was not planning on joining forces with Tesla. “No, we haven’t considered (that), we are going our own way,” Diess told CNBC. “We want to get close and then overtake. We think that we can — we need our own software stack, our own technology,” he added. “And also, I think Tesla, or Elon, is very much thinking … (about) his way forward. So no, there are no talks between Elon Musk and myself regarding joining forces.”

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In terms of its 2020 annual report, the company said in its statement today that “the Covid-19 pandemic had a strong impact on business at the Volkswagen Group and led to lower figures in terms of deliveries, sales revenue and profit, as well as to deviations from the original forecast. In this environment, which was also dominated by fierce competition, technological change in our industry and growing environmental awareness, we delivered 9.3 million vehicles to customers.”

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In fiscal year 2020, Volkswagen generated sales revenue of €222.9 billion. The year-on-year decrease of 11.8% was mainly attributable to falling volumes as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the negative effects of changes in exchange rates, the company said in the statement.

The company said it planned delivery of 1 million electric vehicles for the current year. “Volkswagen’s big electric offensive is working. In 2020, the Group more than tripled its sales of all-electric vehicles. The Group aims to be the global market leader for electric mobility by 2025 at the latest. To this end, the Company is planning to invest around €46 billion in electric mobility and the hybridization of its fleet in the next five years. By 2030, the share of all-electric vehicles in Europe is set to rise to up to 60%,” according to the statement.

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Diess said today that “electrification and digitalization are changing the vehicle faster and more radically than ever before. Economies of scale are absolutely critical for both issues. Our platform roadmap will put us in an even better position to tap the full potential of our Group alliance.”

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a former full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.

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