Volkswagen’s EV business is as profitable as combustion engines sooner than expected – CEO

BERLIN, May 12 (Reuters)volkswagen VOWG_p.DE expects its electric vehicle business to be as profitable as its fossil fuel cars sooner than expected, its chief executive Herbert Diess said Thursday at the automaker’s annual meeting of shareholders.

Volkswagen previously expected to match its combustion engine vehicle profit margins with electric vehicle sales in two to three years, but the automaker was in a strong financial position, Diess said, despite a tough economic environment.

“We expect the electric mobility business to be as profitable as the combustion engine business sooner than expected,” Diess said. “Thanks to good crisis management, we are financially strong and have strengthened our resilience.”

Diess wants Volkswagen to overtake Tesla TSLA.O and become the world’s leading electric car maker by 2025, building on its largest product offering spanning luxury and premium cars as well as volume brands.

Volkswagen delivered some 452,000 battery electric vehicles globally last year and aims to have half of its global production fully electric by 2030.

Tesla, which produced 936,000 cars last year, has announced its goal of putting 20 million on the road a year by the end of the decade.

(Reporting by Victoria Waldersee, editing by Rachel More)

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Kevin A. Perras