Volkswagen Group sets out its road map for the future with the emphasis on electric cars and battery technology

The Volkswagen Group is stepping up the pace of its transformation into becoming the leading provider of individual mobility in the electric and fully connected age. Volkswagen will systematically enhance its successful platform strategy. In future, vehicles and services of all the group’s brands are to be based on largely standardised technical foundations.

Volkswagen’s new platform roadmap has four elements including hardware, software, batteries and charging, as well as mobility services. This is how the Volkswagen Group will reduce complexity, leverage economies of scale and synergies between brands, and generally accelerate the group’s transformation, which has already begun. To secure investments in future technologies, Volkswagen will continue to focus its core business and strengthen its financial foundation.

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Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen, said: “Electrification and digitalisation 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. By pooling the strengths of our strong brands, we will thus be able to scale up our future technologies even faster and maximise the number of people benefiting from them.”

Volkswagen’s Modular Electric Drive Toolkit (MEB) electric platform is now being scaled up worldwide with production in Europe, China and the USA. By 2022,  an impressive 27 MEB-based models will be offered throughout the group. As early as next year, Volkswagen will launch its first vehicles based on the Premium Platform Electric (PPE), with faster acceleration, higher ranges and shorter charging times.

By the middle of the decade, Volkswagen wants to develop its Scalable Systems Platform (SSP). This is their next-generation all-electric, fully digital and highly scalable vehicle platform, on which models of all brands and segments can then be built.

For on-board connectivity and software, Volkswagen is aiming to achieve synergy effects across all brands in the coming years. All of this will be based on the VW.OS operating system supplied by Car.Software-Org., which was established in 2020. Version 1.2 is set to follow in the PPE. Version 2.0 will subsequently be rolled out throughout the Group with the SSP. By then, the in-house share of car software development is set to rise from the current 10 percent to 60 percent.

Volkswagen are also pursuing a platform strategy for batteries and charging. Starting in 2023, they will introduce a unified cell to be scaled up around the world. By 2030, the unified cell is to be installed in around 80 percent of all the group’s electric vehicles across brands.

This is great news for the consumer and electric car prices because Volkswagen will therefore reduce the cost of battery cells. This could be by up to 50 percent in the entry-level segment and by up to 30 percent in the volume segment.

To ensure that demand for battery cells can be met, Volkswagen and its partners plan to build six cell factories with a total capacity of 240-gigawatt hours in Europe by the end of the decade. The group is also driving the expansion of the public fast-charging network in Europe, China and the USA.

The fourth element of the new platform roadmap comprises mobility services and other services. These include the MOIA ride pooling service and the WeShare car sharing offering and flexible subscription services from Volkswagen Bank. As it evolves its service offerings, Volkswagen is acquiring systems expertise which it is developing with partners as necessary.

Volkswagen have also stated they want to deliver one million electric vehicles for the current year. It would appear the German automaker’s big electric offensive is working. In 2020, they more than tripled their sales of all-electric vehicles and aim to be the global market leader for electric mobility by 2025 at the latest.

The company plans to invest around €46 billion (£39.7 billion/$55 billion) in electric mobility and the hybridisation of its fleet in the next five years. By 2030, the share of all-electric vehicles in Europe is set to rise to 60 percent. The group has refused to commit to a fixed end date for combustion engine technology, with reference to regional differences in primary energy usage and regulatory conditions.

Arno Antlitz, future Volkswagen CFO, said: “We aim to put the ambitious transformation of the Volkswagen Group on a solid financial basis. The focus is firstly on allocating and redirecting resources and capital to electrification, digitalisation and mobility services.

“Secondly, we want to secure and reinforce our financial foundation by taking measures on the income and cost side that will enable us to make investments in future technologies.”

Ian Osborne
Ian Osborne
Editor-in-Chief at ElectricDrives

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