Volkswagen Group confirms 20 more EV or PHEV models by 2020; Müller says Europe needs to lead with electric mobility
At the Volkswagen Group’s New Year reception in Brussels, Group CEO Matthias Müller said that the Group would concentrate on sustainability more than ever before—encompassing products, strategy and management. Müller will present the new Strategy 2025 for the Group this summer.
Among other things, the company’s brands will introduce about 20 additional models with electrical or plug-in hybrid drive trains by 2020, the CEO confirmed. (That number had been put forth by former CEO Martin Winterkorn at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2015. Earlier post.) The Volkswagen Group comprises twelve brands from seven European countries.
Müller also said that Europe needs to take the technological lead in future areas of the automotive sector and work with policy makers to create the necessary framework conditions.
Whether digitization, autonomous driving or electric mobility, Europe should set the course in terms of infrastructure and the right legislative framework, Müller told the numerous honorary guests and EU parliamentarians. “We must not leave this playing field to Silicon Valley.”
The Volkswagen Group especially wants policy makers and the automotive industry to cooperate more closely on digital transformation and electric mobility.
The efforts of our industry alone won’t be enough. We need to work together to make sure that Europe remains innovative and competitive as an industrial location in a rapidly changing world. A true breakthrough for electric mobility will only be achieved if politics, society and authorities work together more closely.—Mattias Müller
Müller used the lack of infrastructure as an example: Europe desperately needs an extensive network of 150 kW rapid charging stations. Customer trust in e-mobility will only grow “if there is a visible, functioning infrastructure,” said Müller.
(Audi of America has committed to building out a network of 150 kW rapid charging stations for the coming 2018 battery-electric production version of the e-tron quattro SUV. Earlier post.)
The emissions issue. Speaking to the emissions cheating scandal that emerged last September (earlier post), Müller told the EU parliamentarians in Brussels that the company is using the current crisis to fundamentally realign the Group. “I strongly feel we now have the chance to build a new and better Volkswagen.”
Müller said that the company would have the emission values of its vehicles checked and certified by external and independent inspectors in the future. The company vehicles will also be tested randomly under real driving conditions. “We hope this will help to win back trust.”
The industry-wide discrepancies between the official test results and actual consumption are no longer accepted and no longer acceptable. We need to break new ground here.—Mattias Müller
The CEO stated that EU-wide, comprehensive technical solutions for the approximately 8.5 million vehicles have been agreed. The retrofitting will start this week.
We will manage the recall in the most customer friendly and best possible way.—Mattias Müller
Volkswagen has more than 440,000 employees at 72 locations in Europe, and the Group is the largest industrial investor in many EU countries.