While electric vehicle enthusiasts are tired of only seeing electric concepts coming out of VW, it looks like the German automaker is ready to back those concepts with a massive 9 billion euros ($10 billion) investment to bring them to production.

Volkswagen chief executive Matthias Müller conceded that “the future of driving is electric” and they plan to be part of it, but they are having trouble reconciling it with their current internal combustion engine business.

At the Vienna Auto Show on today, when asked about Tesla’s recent surge in valuation, Müller said that it had little to do with reality (via Financial Times):

“This has little to do with the reality on our streets: the Volkswagen Group produced 10.3m vehicles last year — Tesla around 80,000. And the fact is, electro-mobility continues to be a niche.”

Müller wants Volkswagen to be the one to take EVs from a niche market to mainstream.

In order to achieve that, they plan a $10 billion investment over the next 5 years.

It may seem like a lot of money, and it is, but surprisingly, it actually doesn’t represent the majority of VW’s investment for future more efficient models in the coming years.

Volkswagen plans to spend $22 billion over the next 5 years to develop more efficient engines. It shows a little contradiction in what Müller is saying. He says that “the future of driving is electric”, but the company is still investing more in internal combustion engines than electric motors.

Nonetheless, VW only spent on electric vehicles over the last 5 years a third of what they are planning to spend over the next 5 years, therefore, we should start to see better results coming from them.

It will start with VW’s Audi brand next year with the Audi e-tron quattro, and after that VW will be releasing the production versions of all its I.D. concepts that it has been unveiling of the past year – starting in 2019.

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