FRANKFURT: Germany car giant Volkswagen said Monday it would set up six battery factories in Europe by 2030 as it ramps up its shift into electric vehicles. We are “planning to operate six gigafactories on our own and in collaboration with partners,” said CEO Herbert Diess of the plants, which the group said would have have a total capacity of 240 Gigawatt hours. The group also announced plans to significantly expand charging stations in coming years. “We will multiply the number of fast charging points in Europe by a factor of five over the next four years,” said Diess. Cooperation deals have been agreed with Britain´s BP, Spain´s Iberdrola and Italy´s Enel, VW said.
The charging stations set up in conjunction with partners are aimed at covering a third of European e-mobility demand by 2025. Volkswagen group, which includes brands from Audi to Seat to Porsche, has ploughed more than 30 billion euros ($36 billion) into e-mobility in order to comply with stricter environmental rules in the EU. Its eponymous flagship brand said in March that it was aiming for electric vehicles to account for 70 percent of its European sales by 2030. The VW brand also said it would launch at least one new battery-powered model each year between now and 2030. VW´s all-electric ID.3 became the second best-selling car in Europe last December, and the brand has US e-mobility pioneer Tesla in its sights with its 2021 ID.4 SUV model. Tesla has upped the pressure on major German carmakers such as Volkswagen in recent years with its plans to open a manufacturing plant outside Berlin next July.