MUNICH – Volkswagen Group Chief Financial Officer Arno Antlitz said rising battery material costs mean it will be 2025 before the automaker achieve the same profit margins on electric vehicles as it does on combustion models.
"A lot of the margin parity depends on raw materials," Antlitz told the Reuters Automotive Europe conference.
When VW launched its new electrification strategy in July 2021, it said it expected to reach margin parity between combustion engine and electric vehicles "within the next two to three years."
Now, Antlitz said, rising materials costs mean the profitability goal depends on VW making its own batteries.
"We have not given up the topic of margin parity," Antlitz said. In "2025 and beyond we plan for margin parity," particularly with models that use VW's own batteries.
VW is "planning for significant positive margin" on a new EV model, the ID2, that will go into production in Spain in 2025 and have a starting price of about 25,000 euros, Antlitz said.
The CFO also said Eastern Europe was still likely to be the location of its next battery plant, and that it was in talks with specific locations.
The automaker had been expected to make a decision on a site for an Eastern European plant last December, but its technology officer said in March it was waiting to hear more from the European Union about what incentives would be available in the region before making a final decision.
VW is still weighing options for converting its factory in Wolfsburg, Germany, to build a new generation of EVs called Trinity, or building a new factory for the models.
Antlitz said the delay in the launch of the Trinity vehicles gives VW the opportunity to retrofit the existing Wolfsburg operations, potentially at a lower cost than building a new 2-billion-euro factory.
That investment figure is not up to date because of inflation, Antlitz said.