Volkswagen has said today, 12th March 2019, that it plans to increase its production of electric vehicles over the next ten years to $22 million. This is to reduce its carbon footprint over vehicle life cycles by 30 per cent.
The company is gearing towards electric vehicles as an effort to comply with the new limits on carbon dioxide emissions in Europe. This would also put them in competition with China who is also pushing for more low-emission vehicles.
The German auto company, whose new CEO is Herbert Diess, previously said it would aim for 15 million cars. That was already an impressive feat given that it made less than 50,000 battery-only vehicles last year.
Volkswagen said the operating results for the company in 2018 rose by 0.4 per cent to €17.1 billion on sales that rose 2.7 per cent to €235.8 billion.
The company also revealed that operating profit at its core Volkswagen brand fell last year as the company faced some limitations while certifying vehicles under new emissions tests.
Diess said at the company’s annual news conference earlier in the year that the company met its profit goal with an operating margin of 7.3 per cent.
Volkswagen’s goal is to reduce the CO2 emissions of its vehicle to zero by 2050, and the cars are also to be produced in a carbon-neutral manner.
German car companies have been under pressure from the Trump administration to increase their investments in the US. Diess says the company intends to grow rapidly in America while currently employing about 3,500 people in Tennessee alone. He explains that the new project is expected to provide about a thousand more jobs.
They also explain that they are planning a partnership with Ford to share the costs of developing electric and autonomous vehicles and sharing some factory space.
The partnership would include cooperation on small commercial vehicles, vans, and midsize pickup trucks.
Volkswagen is building the first facility dedicated to electronic vehicle production in Germany by the end of this year. It also plans to build similar facilities in China next year.