VW takes on Tesla in push for electric cars

Carmakers could restrict sales of polluting cars to meet EU regs

On the other hand, Volkswagen is the biggest automotive company in the world by unit volume, having sold 10.7 million vehicles previous year across its slew of brands, which includes VW, Audi, Porsche, Skoda, and few high-end luxury brands such as Lamborghini.

As part of VW's €20bn push into electric cars, it is setting up a standalone subbrand for battery-powered vehicles. While VW plans to sell electric cars in all three markets, it did not say where the 16 production sites will be located. The German automaker is likely to equip 16 more firms in manufacturing electric cars by 2022 in addition to the existing three automotive manufacturers it has under its umbrella.

"From 2019, there will be a new electric vehicle virtually every month", said Matthias Muller, CEO of Volkswagen AG. The CEO of the firm has proclaimed that next year the firm is likely to introduce a new electric battery -driven auto prototype, thereby offering the largest electric vehicle fleet across the globe.

Until its "dieselgate" emissions scandal was revealed two and a half years ago, Europe's largest automaker had been slow to embrace electric cars.

VW now has three electric vehicle factories, but that number will increase to nine by 2020 and to at least 16 by 2022, the automaker said Tuesday.

It also confirmed that future partnerships with battery manufacturers in Europe and China have been agreed to aid in this rapid expansion.

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The German automaker said that "a supplier decision for North America will be taken shortly". "With Roadmap E, we have sent a powerful message of our resolve", Müller stated.

The New Volkswagen I.D. Vizzion is presented during the press day at the 88th Geneva International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday, March 6, 2018.

However, the company chief clarified that there would be no change in the production of vehicles running on conventional drive systems.

"We are making massive investments in the mobility of tomorrow, but without neglecting current technologies and vehicles that will continue to play an important role for decades to come", Mueller said.

Group sales revenue also climbed to a new record in 2017 to 230.7 billion euros (285.8 billion US dollars), up 6.2 percent from a year ago, CFO Frank Witter highlighted.

Last year, VW brand, the group's largest division by sales and revenue, more than doubled its return on sales to 4.1 percent on the back of cuts in research and development spending, lower production costs and rising sales of SUVs, which deliver higher margins.

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