Drivers in the U.S. could start to see the results of a $10 billion investment in electric from German automaker Volkswagen Group (VLKAY) as early as 2020, with two new battery-powered vehicles from the company appearing to be slated for American markets.
The two vehicles, the I.D. Lounge and the I.D. AEROe, were shown at a VW presentation in a slide first published by the Dutch car site autoblog.nl and brings the I.D. series up to a total of five cars. While the two vehicles were pictured underneath car covers that concealed their appearance, their sizes are roughly visible.
VW's $10 billion investment in electric vehicles over the next five years represents a tripling of the company's electric budget compared to the last five, a nod to where the company sees its future. In April, CEO Matthias Muller said "the future of driving is electric," the Financial Times reported. According to Bloomberg, the company plans for 25% of its sales to be electric by 2025.
The company is also trying to get out from under the DieselGate fiasco, which resulted in criminal and civil fines of more than $20 billion after VW cars were shown to have duped regulators with so-called "defeat devices" meant to reduce nitrogen-oxide emissions during testing. The penalties included an agreement to invest $2 billion in American electric vehicle infrastructure, including high-speed charging stations. Those charging stations will not be proprietary to VW and are expected to yield dividends for electric vehicle adoption nationwide.
In addition to the U.S., the two new vehicles also appear to be set for release in China, according to the presentation. VW's joint venture with Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group Corp. secured a permit in May to sell electric vehicles in China for 25 years just ahead of what may be a suspension of new issuances by the country's auto investment regulator. According to CarNewsChina, the planned annual output for the joint venture is set at 100,000 units.
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