FRANKFURT -- Volkswagen Group CEO Matthias Mueller sees producing batteries for electric vehicles as a logical move as the automaker expands its production of EV and plug-in hybrid cars after its emissions-cheating scandal, a German newspaper reported.
"If more than a quarter of our cars are to be electronic vehicles in the foreseeable future then we are going to need approximately 3 million batteries a year," Mueller told Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. "Then it makes sense to build our own factory."
VW currently relies on external battery suppliers for the electric vehicles it makes.
The automaker and its labor unions agreed on Friday to cut 30,000 jobs at the core VW brand in exchange for a commitment to avoid forced redundancies in Germany until 2025.
The cuts came with a management pledge to create 9,000 new jobs in the area of battery production and mobility services at factories in Germany as part of efforts to shift toward electric and self-driving cars.
The newspaper also quoted Mueller as saying that VW Group has been in talks with ride-hailing service Uber on potential cooperation, but the carmaker would not settle for the role as a mere supplier.
"They [Uber] saw us more in the role of a supplier. But we said: 'Okay guys, this is a contest which we are happy to take on. We will remain in command'," Mueller said.
Automakers such as VW Group are developing electric vehicles and billing themselves as mobility companies that don't merely sell cars but also get involved with alternatives to conventional car ownership such as ride-hailing and car-sharing.
Mueller confirmed in the report that VW Group had set aside 18 billion euros ($19.1 billion) to cover the cost of its diesel-emissions cheating scandal.
The company does not expect the German government to make tax demands to cover any revenue losses related to the scandal, a company spokesman said on Saturday.