Car (South Africa) - - FEATURE -

olk­swa­gen is still smart­ing from Diesel­gate that rocked the com­pany two years ago and buy­ers, par­tic­u­larly in the US, have long mem­ory spans. With a new CEO at the helm, the Ger­man au­to­mo­tive gi­ant is keen to turn over a new leaf and launched its am­bi­tious Roadmap E elec­tri cation ini­tia­tive at the re­cent Frank­furt Mo­tor Show. Ac­cord­ing to chair­man of the board of man­age­ment of Volk­swa­gen AG, Matthias Müller, Volk­swa­gen will elec­trify its en­tire model port­fo­lio by 2030. Essen­tially, the ini­tia­tive promises at least one elec­tri ed ver­sion of each of the 300 or so VW Group mod­els across all brands and mar­kets, in­clud­ing South Africa. Across the var­i­ous brands, VW is promis­ing more than 80 new elec­tri ed mod­els by 2025, in­clud­ing some 50 purely bat­tery-pow­ered ve­hi­cles and 30 plug-in hy­brids.

To ac­cel­er­ate de­vel­op­ment in the e-mo­bil­ity eld, VW has ear­marked €20 bil­lion for di­rect in­vest­ment, in­clud­ing the de­vel­op­ment of two en­tirely new elec­tric plat­forms, up­grad­ing plants, train­ing staff and adding charg­ing in­fra­struc­ture. Of course, elec­tric ve­hi­cles re­quire bat­tery power and VW AG has ini­ti­ated a ten­der process worth more than €50 bil­lion, one of the largest in au­to­mo­tive his­tory, to se­cure long-term part­ner­ships in the eld of bat­tery pro­duc­tion. On top of that, the medium-term strat­egy is to con­cen­trate all Group-wide de­vel­op­ment, pro­cure­ment and qual­ity as­sur­ance ac­tiv­i­ties for all bat­tery cells and

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