VW to build EVs at 16 factories by 2022

Volkswagen shares rise as car maker announces expansions of electric car production

Volkswagen Group to expand EV production worldwide to 16 sites by end of 2022; partnerships with battery manufacturers

The company, which has struggled to secure sources of cobalt, a critical component for modern batteries, said that it's working on ways to reduce the amount of the element needed for its electric cars.

"This is how we intend to offer the largest fleet of electric vehicles in the world, across all brands and regions, in just a few years", Müller insisted.

Critically, the German automaker has already secured battery supply contracts for vehicles that will be sold in Europe and China, with contracts worth Euro 20 billion (~$25 billion USD). The dieselgate scandal had erupted in September 2015 when the US Environmental Protection Agency found VW had installed devices on its diesel turbocharged direct injection (TDI) engines that manipulated emissions during government tests. Currently, VW produces battery operated vehicles in just three of its factories and in just two years another nine factory locations would be equipped for this objective.

VW has chosen battery suppliers for its European and Chinese-market products, adding that "a supplier decision for North America will be taken shortly", the automaker said in a statement.

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To accommodate production, Müller said the company will adapt nine production sites to handle electric-vehicle production. But over the past months, Volkswagen's commitments have continued to grow.

Last year, the company said it will be spending over 50 billion euros on battery technology. The total project is expected to cost 20 billion euros or approximately $25 billion. Volkswagen is targeting annual production of 3 million electric vehicles by 2025.

He also confirmed every single one of the Group's 300 models would have an electric variant by 2030, though in many cases this would be just a plug-in hybrid.

Volkswagen is looking to launch a new EV nearly every month from next year. There is the MEB (modular electric toolkit) and a sports/luxury architecture jointly developed by Porsche and Audi. The first MEB-produced model should come in 2020.

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Those moves have intensified pressure on Tesla (TSLA), which is falling well short of its target of building 250,000 Model 3 cars a year for the mass market.

Volkswagen will open the floodgates in 2022 and launch a new electric auto every month as it works aggressively to electrify its portfolio, the automaker said.

And Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, the globe's current largest seller of EVs, said in January it wouldn't loosen its grip on that title. However, at the time, it did not go into detail about the investment.

Unlike some of its competitors, Volkswagen isn't going entirely in on electric vehicles - for now. But its strategy still leaves room for standard vehicles.

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