The world’s best automakers double their efforts on electric vehicles

Previously planned investments in electric vehicles (EVs) are just a drop in the bucket, with major automakers aiming for huge growth by 2030 thanks to another massive EV surge. Ahead of the pandemic and the COP26 summit that followed, automakers showed interest in electric vehicles, promising distant investments. But over the past year, governments have pledged to achieve net zero carbon emissions, presented plans to phase out gasoline and diesel vehicles, and lobbied major industries to go green. . Today, the world’s largest automakers are finally gaining momentum in their electric vehicle plans for the next decade.

One of the big changes is the short-term investment plans of several of the world’s largest automakers, which are now targeting large fleets of electric vehicles over the next decade in response to growing demand and tighter regulations. on traditional vehicles. In November, a Reuters Analysis showed that global automakers plan to spend more than half a trillion dollars on electric vehicles and batteries by 2030. This is an increase of $ 200 billion from just three years ago .

But there is speculation that jumping on the electric vehicle investment bandwagon could lead to oversupply. As zero-carbon mandates come into place in cities like London and Paris, inevitably leading to increased demand, uncertainty remains over whether absorption levels will increase by 2030.

Despite the doubt around demand, many companies are forging ahead with their EV investments. Just this week, Toyota announced plans for a $ 1.29 billion battery factory for electrified vehicles in North Carolina. Toyota plans to produce around 200,000 lithium-ion batteries at the plant, for its fleet of all-electric electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids from 2025. Production could reach 1.2 million per year as the production of electric vehicles increases. of the company increases. The new facility will create approximately 1,750 jobs.

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Toyota previously announced an increase in its investment in electric vehicles, totaling around $ 3.4 billion, in October this year. As part of the plan, the company chose the North Carolina site for its battery production because of the high levels of renewable energy production in the state. This is part of a larger strategy for Toyota to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

Nissan has made similar commitments in recent months with plans to invest $ 17.6 billion in its electric vehicle fleet as part of its “Ambition 2030” plan. The company hopes electric vehicles will account for half of its sales by 2030, with the introduction of several new models to meet various consumer needs. Nissan aims to retail 75% of electrified and hybrid vehicles in Europe, 55% in Japan and 40% in the United States and China by the end of the decade.

The automaker plans to launch its fleet of fully solid-state batteries by 2028, with the opening of a pilot plant in Yokohama in 2024. This innovative new type of battery would significantly reduce charging times. It’s part of a plan to ultimately reduce the cost of electric vehicle batteries to $ 75 per kWh, or about half the price in 2020.

Nissan isn’t the only automaker to announce big plans for a new fleet of electric vehicles. Volkswagen has just announced a new $ 100 billion EV transformation plan, with the goal of achieving a quarter of all sales based on electric vehicles by the end of 2026.

VW has announced plans for its Infinity EV Project Earlier this year, a fully electric car with autonomous driving capabilities is expected to launch in 2026. The car will offer more interior space, as the company focuses on modifying the traditional interior design of the vehicle.

VW CEO Herbert Diess fought against unions for the future of the company’s largest factory, Wolfsburg. But this week, VW announced that it would bring electric vehicle production to the factory earlier than originally planned. The company hopes not only to compete with other major automakers, but also to compete with the current market leader in electric vehicles – Tesla.

Tesla is also completing its first European assembly line a few hours from the VW factory. But the optimistic VW CEO declared, “Wolfsburg will get a whole new identity which will ensure that the site is competitive internationally. ”

VW hopes not only to break into the European electric vehicle market, but also to dominate Tesla’s home territory, American Diess has announced plans to double the company’s overall market share in the United States by 2030, at 10%, thanks to new models such as the Volkswagen ID Buzz microbus. and Audi Artémis. He believes President Biden’s pressure for a net zero will increase demand across the country. With several brands falling under the VW umbrella, including the economy brand Škoda and the luxury Porsche, Diess believes the company can compete aggressively with Tesla over the next decade.

The future of auto manufacturing has changed dramatically over the past two years, from companies showing little interest in EVs to EVs as part of their primary investment strategy for the next decade. As auto majors around the world continue to increase their funding for electric vehicles and batteries, we can expect a very different road landscape by 2030.

By Felicity Bradstock for Oil Octobers

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