Volkswagen’s $2.1 billion plan to roll out electric trucks and buses

Volkswagen’s $2.1 billion plan to roll out electric trucks and buses
Volkswagen is backing up its plans to enter the electric car market by announcing a project to roll out battery powered commercial vehicles that could transform urban areas around the world.

This will see the Volkswagen Truck & Bus division investing 1.4 billion euros ($A2.12 billion) in electric transmission systems, standalone systems and cloud-based software.

The division’s head Andreas Renschler told journalists that Volkswagen’s electric trucks will have a market share of over 5 per cent by 2025.

That’s lower than the 25 per cent market share for electric cars by that date but then trucks carry heavier loads and serve more industries. Added to that is the fact that trucks vary in size across the globe because of different regulations which makes it difficult to build them in large enough volumes to generate economies of scale.

Renschler said the firm’s MAN and Scania nameplates will both deliver wholly electric buses next year to European cities.

“We believe in a wide range of alternative powertrains and fuels, depending on local availability, social and local demand and customer requirements,” Renschler said.

“Therefore it is crucial that policy makers adopt a ‘technology-neutral approach’ in any regulations.

“With city buses, we are breaking even when compared to conventional solutions. Electricity distribution trucks should become positive in 2020-25.”

Volkswagen will be facing some challenges with Tesla’s plans to unveil a battery-powered semi-truck on November 16.

Renschler said better battery technology will lower technology costs and make the manufacture of electric trucks more attractive.

 



An award winning author and journalist, commentator, lecturer, and speaker, Leon is a freelance business journalist who covers a range of areas including politics, strategy, globalization, leadership and all the big trends ahead. His main skill is summing up all the news that’s around. For the last 30 years, his main focus has been on management issues. He also produces two podcasts for RMIT University, Talking Business and Talking Technology. Leon has worked for Fairfax, News Limited, AAP and the Herald and Weekly Times.