Volkswagen will build six battery cell factories in Europe and expand electric vehicle charging infrastructure globally. The factories will have an annual joint production capacity of 240-gigawatt hours (GWh). Potential locations for the plants include Spain, France, Portugal, Poland, Slovakia, or the Czech Republic.
- The project's cost is unknown, but last year, the automaker pledged it would invest $41.7B in electric vehicles by 2025.
- Volkswagen projects electric vehicles will account for 20% of its sales by 2025, and it will introduce 75 different models by 2029.
- The automaker is trying to cut battery production costs to reduce the retail price of EVs significantly.
- It's also building out an electric vehicle software infrastructure that all its brands would use.
- Volkswagen will increase its 20% stake in Swedish battery startup Northvalt and has placed a $14B order through 2030.
- It plans to build 18,000 public charging stations in Europe by 2025. 3,500 stations will be built in North America and 17,000 in China.
- Volkswagen is attempting to remodel itself as a technology company similar to Tesla. However, CEO Herbert Diess said the automaker doesn't want to merge with Tesla but "get close and then overtake."
- This year, the company will only hire in key areas such as electric cars, digitalization, and battery cell development.
- Volkswagen shares were up 8.8% on Wednesday, reaching their highest level since 2008. They're up 25% this week and 180% since the March 2020 crash.