Volkswagen group plans to build 10 million e-cars in first wave

FILE PHOTO: Herbert Diess, Volkswagen's new CEO, speaks next to a Volkswagen I.D. concept car at a media event ahead of the Beijing Auto Show in Beijing, China April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee/File Photo

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Volkswagen VOWG_p.DE plans to build 10 million electric cars based on its new modular MEB platform, the German car maker said on Monday, as it targets the launch of worldwide mass production toward the end of 2022.

VW will build 27 models for four group brands based on the MEB - or modular electrification kit - starting with the Volkswagen ID model that will begin rolling off the production line at its plant in Zwickau, Germany, late next year.

After the diesel emissions scandal broke three years ago, VW unveiled an ambitious plan to become a world leader in green transport. It plans to invest 6 billion euros ($7 billion) in e-car production, of which 1.3 billion will be invested in its German plants at Braunschweig, Salzgitter and Kassel.

“In the first wave alone, around 10 million VW group cars will be based on this platform,” the company’s head of electric mobility, Thomas Ulbrich, said in a presentation in Dresden.

The company did not give a timeline for the forecast, but stood by its existing target of selling 3 million units per year by 2025 of the 50 battery-powered group models it plans.

Volkswagen, like other German auto makers, is pushing into volume production of electric cars as U.S. rival Tesla struggles to scale up manufacturing of its Model 3, its first car to target the mass market.

BMW and Daimler also plan to ramp up e-car output in the coming years.

The VW group, which includes the Skoda, SEAT, Audi and Porsche brands, sold 10.7 million cars last year here.

($1 = 0.8565 euros)

Reporting by Ilona Wissenbach; Writing by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Thomas Seythal/Keith Weir