Volkswagen is going all out to become the world’s number one maker of electric vehicles, the German car giant announcing plans to invest €1bn (US$1.1bn) in the tech, including acquiring a 50% stake of JAG, the parent company of its partner JAC as well as actually increasing the stake in JAC Volkswagen from 50 to 75%. Furthermore, VW will acquire a 26% stake in battery manufacturer Gotion High-Tech for €1bn. The capital increase will specifically develop Volkswagen’s Chinese electrification strategy.
Five electric models are planned to be launched by 2025 along with a full-scale e-model factory and an R&D center coming on stream in Hefei.
Volkswagen’s binding agreement with Gotion makes it the first global automaker to directly invest in a Chinese battery manufacturer, while JAC Volkswagen was founded in 2017 as a joint venture all-electric company to develop, produce and sell electric vehicles.
Meanwhile, VW Group’s Audi has also signaled its intent in the AV-EV market by establishing a dedicated AV-EV business unit called Artemis.
Headed by Alex Hitzinger, who’s CV includes a spell at Apple and who has most recently been the senior vice president with responsibility for autonomous driving at Volkswagen Group, the new unit’s first task is to create an electric autonomous car by 2024. The project will work globally with digital services being provided by the group’s car.software.org platform based in Ingolstadt, Germany.
Markus Duesmann, who took over as CEO of Audi two months ago, said the move is designed to help the company “pioneer an electric AV model quickly and unbureaucratically” and that the division will be “as agile as a racing team.”