German Automakers Will Spend Over $60 Billion on Electric Cars, Autonomous Driving
The automakers view this is necessary to meet stricter emissions standards.
German automakers are about to spend big on electric cars and autonomous driving, two technologies that are expected to reshape the industry over the next few decades. Automakers will spend a combined 60 billion euros ($68 billion) over the next three years, the VDA, a German car-industry trade group, said in a statement ahead of the 2019 Geneva Motor Show.
"We will invest over 40 billion euros ($45 billion) in electric mobility during the next three years, and another 18 billion euros ($20 billion) will be invested in digitization and connected and automated driving," VDA President Bernhard Mattes said. The number of electric car models from German automakers will also treble in that time, to around 100, Mattes added.
A ramp-up of electric car production is needed to meet stricter European Union emissions standards set to take effect in 2030, Mattes said, asking for what he called appropriate regulatory conditions across Europe. Mattes also called for expanded charging infrastructure and more purchase incentives for electric cars.
The massive investment shouldn't come as a surprise, given German manufacturers' recent announcements of ambitious electric car plans. Volkswagen has said it will launch 50 all-electric models across multiple brands by 2025. Mercedes-Benz plans to offer an all-electric or hybrid version of every model in its lineup by 2022, while BMW has said it will launch 12 all-electric models by 2025. Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler have already set aside large amounts of money to purchase batteries for these cars.
Major German automakers have also discussed plans to develop self-driving cars. BMW and Daimler recently announced a joint effort to develop the technology, while Volkswagen is working with U.S. startup Aurora Innovation on autonomous cars.
The investments are considered necessary because of the presumed importance of electric powertrains and autonomous driving to the future of the car industry. These technologies also have the potential to greatly reduce emissions and improve safety, which are worthy goals. But self-driving cars are still largely unproven, and Don Walker, CEO of major automotive supplier Magna International, has questioned whether automakers can implement the new technologies profitably.
- RELATEDVolkswagen CEO: 'We Have Sourced Batteries for 50 Million Electric Cars'VW claims to already have two factories set up solely for EV production; one in Germany and one in China.READ NOW
- RELATEDDaimler Is Buying a Massive $23 Billion Worth of Battery Cells to Power Its Future EV LineupThe German auto group makes a big-time investment in future mobility for its Mercedes-Benz and Smart brands.READ NOW
- RELATEDDaimler and Bosch Will Launch Autonomous Driving Pilot Program in San JosePassengers will be shuttled to designated areas of the city in the back of Mercedes-Benz S Class sedans.READ NOW
- RELATED2019 Audi E-tron First Drive: The VW Group's War on Tesla—and Gasoline—Starts HereAudi’s new electric E=tron SUV blends technology and design in whole new ways, making EV driving a simplified pleasure.READ NOW
- RELATEDVolkswagen Will Convert German Car-Parts Factory to Build Mobile EV Charging StationsIt's one way to preserve jobs in the transition to electric cars.READ NOW