Volkswagen AG, the largest carmaker in the world, has announced it is pouring a massive amount of resources into electric vehicle development. The company has just secured $25 billion in battery supplies and related technologies, a move that could worry rival automaker Tesla.
Bloomberg reports that Volkswagen currently has just three factories equipped to produce electric vehicles, but that number will rise to 16 within the next two years. By 2025, it plans to output up to 3 million EVs, thanks to deals with suppliers that include Samsung and LG Chem Ltd. The firm hopes to offer an electric version of each of its 300 models by 2030.
Volkswagen said it had secured battery technology deliveries for Europe and China, which make up 80 percent of its vehicle sales, and it will soon select a supplier for North America. It plans to purchase a total of 50 billion euro's worth of batteries to power its vehicles.
"Building up expertise and mastering the technology does not necessarily imply that we want to start large-scale assembly of batteries ourselves," said CEO Matthias Mueller. "Others can do it better than we can."
Volkswagen had never shown much interest in electric vehicles before 2015, but following the Dieselgate emissions scandal, in which it was found to be using "defeat devices" to beat inspections, the firm started to focus on environmentally friendlier projects as a way of improving its tarnished image.
Volkswagen's investment in electric vehicles will no doubt put the pressure on Tesla. Elon Musk's firm has faced issues with its Model 3 sedan, having missed some production targets.