You don’t need to be told there’s a lot to consider when buying a car, but it’s true. And as environmentally friendly options become increasingly available, there’s even more for you to mull over before you make your final purchase. One complaint you often hear is that the options for environmentally friendly cars are too limited when compared to traditional gasoline-powered cars. Well, that’s slowly changing. One recent example: Volkswagen recently announced its plan to build electric cars in North America by 2020.
According to a Wall Street Journal story earlier this month, the new head of Volkswagen AG’s U.S. unit has confirmed that the manufacturer intends to make electric cars in North America within the next few years. But North America doesn’t only mean the United States. While Hinrich Woebcken said the company’s plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee is one possible site for electric car production, it’s not the only one. There’s a large production facility in Mexico that Volkswagen may use to make its electric cars instead.
The timing for Volkswagen’s announcement couldn’t be better. The Wall Street Journal points out that building electric cars in North America is “an important steppingstone to rebuilding [Volkswagen’s] image following its emissions-cheating scandal.” (Should you need a reminder of what that was, The New York Times offers a thorough explanation.)
Last month, BBC News published an article about Volkswagen’s plans to become an “electric cars leader.” Matthias Mueller, chief executive of Volkswagen, told the BBC that he hopes that all-electric cars would account for 20-25% of the company’s annual sales by 2025.
“[Volkswagen] intends to launch more than 30 purely battery-powered electric vehicles over the next ten years,” he said.
What will this take? Recovery and, yes, money. The BBC reported that Mueller told reporters at the Volkswagen headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany the following: “This will require us—following the serious setback as a result of the diesel issue—to learn from mistakes made, rectify shortcomings and establish a corporate culture that is open, value-driven and rooted in integrity.”
More specifically, the company will be streamlining its 26 plants and concentrate on cutting sales and administration costs.