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Volkswagen vows to invest $193 billion in electrification

The automaker aims to establish a bigger presence in North America and China.

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Volkswagen pinned its future on electric vehicles and announced its plans to put 30 new EVs on the road shortly after its $18.2 billion emissions scandal. Now, the automaker has revealed that it plans to spend $193 billion on different areas of its electrification efforts over the next five years. According to The New York Times, Volkswagen chief executive Oliver Blume said at a press event that two-thirds of that budget will go towards manufacturing batteries, developing software and sourcing critical and raw materials for its vehicles.

Blume's revelation comes after the automaker's announcements that its subsidiary PowerCo will build its first North American battery cell factory in Canada and that it will build electric pickups and SUVs in South Carolina. The company is already producing its ID.4 electric vehicles in the US after repurposing its Chattanooga, Tennessee factory in 2022. But Volkswagen's electrification efforts are still behind its biggest competitors', and it's aiming to establish a stronger foothold in North America, as well to become more competitive in China. The company considers those regions as its two most important markets — ones it will have to conquer if it wants to reach its goals. Volkswagen previously said that it wants electric vehicles to account for about 55 percent of its sales in the US by 2030.

For now, the automaker will continue making gas vehicles while it's working to expand its EV offerings with more models, including affordable ones that cost around $26,000. Arno Antlitz, Volkswagen’s chief financial and operating officer, talked about the path the company has to take going forward, though: "We must transform ourselves into a technology and mobility services group. We need to focus on our platforms, such as our hardware for battery-powered electric vehicles, a unified software stack, batteries, mobility, autonomous driving."