Volkswagen Ups Electric Car Production Goal to 22 Million in the Next Decade

March 12, 2019, 7:58 PM UTC

Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess announced Tuesday that the car maker would produce 22 million electric cars over the next decade, the Associated Press reports.

The new number is roughly 50% higher than its previous goal of 15 million, but regardless of the specifics, Volkswagen is clear in its message: electric cars are coming.

“The supertanker is picking up speed,” Diess said Tuesday, according to Investor’s Business Daily. “We are aligning Volkswagen with e-mobility like no other company in our industry.”

The German automaker plans to invest $12.5 billion into electric and autonomous vehicles by 2023. Earlier this year, the company launched itself into the battery-making business as well.

Volkswagen still has far to go to meet its goal: CNN reports that the Volkswagen Group—including Audi, Porsche, and Skoda—sold a high of 10.8 million cars last year, but just 40,000 of these were electric.

Aside from strictly addressing car production, Diess said Volkswagen also aims to reduce the carbon footprint of its cars’ life cycles by 30%, the AP reports.

The European Union set strict limits on carbon dioxide emissions last year, leading to a slightly lower operating profit at Volkswagen due to the production effects of new emissions tests. Meanwhile, net profit was up 6% last year, says the AP, to 12.2 billion euros (roughly $13.8 billion).