Volkswagen updated its electric vehicle effort in China this week with the announcement of a new investment schedule of $12 billion over the next 7 years with its joint-venture partner.

The German automaker has been one of the biggest EV proponents in the auto industry since the ‘Dieselgate scandal’ as it tries to reshape its image.

They have announced several new efforts to bring EVs to market and to build a massive battery supply chain in order to mass produce those vehicles.

But like other automakers, those vehicles will not be in all markets first and China is going to be prioritized.

Now VW China head Jochem Heizmann elaborated on their plans for China with reporters in Guangzhou Thursday (via Bloomberg).

He said that the first electric vehicle under the joint-venture will enter production during the first half of 2018 and hit the market soon after. Heizmann says that the number of vehicles offered through the brand in China should rise to 40 by 2025.

In terms of volume, it should result in 400,000 units of electric vehicles a year by 2020 and 1.5 million by 2025.

Electrek’s Take

That investment schedule and production ramp-up play right into China’s recently modified zero-emission vehicle mandate.

Automakers need zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) to represent 10% of new car sales as soon as in 2019 and 12% by 2020. They recently removed the requirement for 2018, but the plan is still more aggressive than any major country.

China has become an important market for VW over the years and this $12 billion investment in EVs in the country will enable them to continue to grow in the world’s largest automotive market without penalties.

DaimlerToyotaFordthe Renault-Nissan alliance, GM, and more recently BMW have all announced joint-ventures to produce electric vehicles in China over the last year for the same reasons.

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