German carmaker Volkswagen has said it's pumping more money into improving its combustion engines. Increased investment in this technology, VW argued, was justified despite the more general trend toward e-cars.
Europe's largest automaker said Friday it planned to invest heavily in the development of better combustion engines for its vehicles.
On Friday, VW Group Chief Executive Matthias Müller said at a conference in Vienna, Austria the company would spend some 10 billion euros ($10.9 billion) on this conventional technology by 2022.
He added the aim of the effort was to increase fuel efficiency, particularly through more advanced injection systems and lightweight design programs, which could enhance engine efficiency by some 15 percent in comparison to what the market had to offer today.
Müller admitted, though, that "although combustion engines would remain essential for at least 20 more years, the future is electric."
For Volkswagen, that's a case of doing one thing without neglecting the other. Following its huge emissions test cheating scandal, the Wolfsburg-based carmaker announced as early as November last year that it aspired to become the world's leader in electric cars by 2025.
"By that time, we plan to sell 1 million e-cars per year," VW brand chief Herbert Diess said at a presentation back then.
The company's switch to electric is to be made possible through larger investments and economies of scale and will be a crucial part of Volkswagen's efforts to reinvent itself after the cheating scam.
CEO Matthias Müller said Friday some 9 billion euros would be invested in alternative transmission systems over the next five years, three times as much as in the past five-year period.
The company emphasized it would produce more than 30 additional all-electric or hybrid models.
hg/bb (AFP, dpa)