Automation giant Volkswagen and three joint ventures announced that they will be investing approximately €15 billion (about £13.6 billion) into the electric vehicle market in China, the world’s biggest car market, across the next four years.
The announcement was made Monday, and will see VW collaborate with FAW Group, SAIC Motor and JAC Motors (exciting, huh?). Regardless, it’s certainly a big investment, not to mention an ambitious one, with VW planning to build 15 separate electric or hybrid cars before 2025, based on the company’s existing “modular electric drive matrix,” or MEB. They’re not taking their time either: work will start this month in two separate Chinese factories, with batteries outsourced from three other companies, and a maximum capacity of 600,000 cars per year (assuming there’s that much demand).
This is a big deal for electric vehicles, especially considering the knockout success of VW’s ID.3, which recently became the top choice in Norway (the world’s biggest EV market, proportionately). VW have even pledged more than twice their Chinese investment for a global movement from fossil fuel engines, and the ID line is launching in China this very month.
Volkswagen’s behaviour makes it look like they’re treating e-mobility and environmental efforts not as a gimmick, a trend or a side business, but as a real movement that will define the future of the car industry – and that’s important, because that industry can’t move towards electric options without big companies encouraging that shift. If nothing else, it might help even the scales a bit more after that embarrassing Dieselgate thing.