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VW Group to expand EV production on 'massive scale'

VW plans 16 factories for electric vehicles by 2022

Targets 3 million EVs/year by 2025, third of 2017 volumes

German car maker Volkswagen plans to expand the production of electric vehicles worldwide on a massive scale and has awarded contracts to battery manufacturers with a volume value of Eur20 billion ($24.6 billion), it said Tuesday alongside its annual earnings.

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VW Group, one of the world's biggest car makers, plans 16 production sites worldwide to produce battery-powered vehicles by the end of 2022, it said.

Currently, electric vehicles are produced by just three VW factories with a further nine scheduled to be equipped for this purpose within two years, it added.

To ensure adequate battery capacity for the massive expansion of electric mobility, partnerships with battery manufacturers for Europe and China have already been agreed, while a supplier decision for North America will be taken shortly, it said.

Under its 'Roadmap E' strategy, Volkswagen plans to build up to 3 million electric vehicles annually by 2025 and is planning to roll-out some 80 new electric models across its group of brands.

In 2017, VW Group sold a record 10.7 million vehicles worldwide. Last week, the car maker also announced plans to convert its power plant at its Wolfsburg headquarters and car plant in Germany from coal to gas with a Eur400 million investment.

VW has been under intense pressure to improve its environmental image following the diesel emissions scandal in 2015 with both diesel and coal mainstream political topics in Germany.

--Andreas Franke,

--Edited by Jonathan Loades-Carter,