The Dieselgate mess that Volkswagen got itself into, and the wave of electrification sweeping over the auto industry now, seems to have acted as a double jolt to the German giant, which has escaped relatively unscathed from the emissions cheating scandal. Sales are up, and VW is now gearing up for the future of motoring.

The Volkswagen Group is now flexing its muscle by unleashing a big wave of investment electric mobility, autonomous driving, new mobility services and digitalisation over the coming years. More than 34 billion euros will be poured into these future technologies by the end of 2022, and most of this will go into the electrification and hybridisation of the group’s vehicles.

When the so called Roadmap E electrification offensive was announced in September, the group said it would electrify its entire model portfolio by 2030. Bear in mind that the in-vogue term ‘electrification’ includes everything from hybrids and plug-in hybrids to full EVs – it does not exclusively refer to battery-powered cars.

“With the planning round now approved, we are laying the foundation for making Volkswagen the world’s number one player in electric mobility by 2025. We are reinventing the car. We are making targeted investments in digitalisation, autonomous driving, electric mobility and new mobility services by providing the necessary funds from our own resources,” declared CEO Matthias Muller (pic above).

However, paving the way for the future does not mean discarding current technologies, and the internal combustion engine. “We are, however, doing so without sidelining existing technologies and vehicle projects, since this is how we will earn our money for the foreseeable future,” a realistic Muller said. “Given its brands and potential for synergy, I am convinced that the VW Group will master this balancing act like no other company in our industry,” he added.

The paving work starts now. For the launch of Europe’s first series production of electric vehicles on the MEB platform, VW’s Zwickau site will be remodeled into a pure e-mobility plant. Other location decisions will be made further down the Roadmap E road.

“The entire automotive industry is facing fundamental changes in the coming years, which will provide great opportunities, but also require us to put in tremendous efforts. We have a convincing plan. Our financial position is robust. We have the experience and the talent. And wherever skills are lacking, we will build the necessary expertise and strengthen our teams. Now we have to get to work quickly and move toward shared success,” Muller rallied.

In addition, 22.8 billion euros will be channeled to the VW Group’s namesake Volkswagen brand over the next five years, according to Reuters. Most of this (around 14 billion euros) will be spent in Germany, and it includes the remodelling of the Zwickau plant.

The figures released in planning round does not include the investments of VW’s joint venture companies in China, which finance the investments in the Chinese plants and products from their own resources.

To recap, the VW Group’s Roadmap E promises that around one in four new vehicles produced by the group will be a full EV. This could mean up to three million EVs a year, depending on the state of the auto industry. Wolfsburg is planning to electrify its entire model portfolio by 2030. To this end, the company has invited tenders for one of the largest purchasing volumes ever, with plans to spend over 50 billion euros on battery cells.

Elon Musk is proud of the disruption to the car industry that his Tesla has caused. But surely even he, currently burning in “production hell” with the Model 3, will be wary of the traditional giants he has awoken.