Volkswagen shares rise as auto maker announces expansions of electric vehicle production

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The three new electric vehicles are just the tip of the iceberg as Müller said the Volkswagen Group will introduce a new electric vehicle "virtually every month" starting in 2019.

Volkswagen shares are trading higher Tuesday, as the German auto maker announced plans to expand its electric vehicle production levels.

The Volkswagen Group kicked off "Roadmap E" previous year which it says is the most comprehensive electrification drive in the automotive industry.

"Over the last few months, we have pulled out all the stops to implement "Roadmap E" with the necessary speed and determination", CEO Muller explained in Berlin. The 16 yet-to-be-named manufacturing sites will all be online by 2022, with the current three sites seeing a significant bump up to nine facilities in just two years.

It has already chosen its battery cell suppliers and has locked in technology contracts worth up to US$25 billion for the Europe and China alone, he admitted, with U.S. deals set to follow.

He added that a third of the auto maker's nine new vehicles for 218, will be 100% electric powered. The company has also revealed it is still looking for a battery supplier in North America. "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".

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This ambitious electric strategy stands in sharp contrast to Volkswagen's 2015 emissions scandal, wherein the company's diesel vehicles were found to have "defeat devices" installed to cheat emissions tests. Yet, Muller said electrification does not mean the firm is moving away completely from conventional technologies.

In 2018, Volkswagen will invest 20 billion euros in developing better diesel and gasoline engines, a sum which would be supplemented by 90 billion euros ($111 billion) over the next five years.

Volkswagen says that pushing for electric vehicles does not mean internal combustion units would die.

Among them, 4.2 million vehicles were sold in the Chinese market by the Chinese joint ventures, representing a year-on-year increase of 5.1 percent, the German carmaker said.

Fallout from the scandal cost it 3.2 billion euros last year, it said in February, but did not hold it back from booking 11.4 billion euros in profit - around the same level as the year before "dieselgate" became public.

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