By Paul Lienert
(Reuters) – Volkswagen AG plans to invest $7.1 billion over the next five years in North America and add 25 new electric vehicles there by 2030, a top executive said on Monday.
The German automaker expects 55% of its U.S. vehicles sales to be fully electric by 2030, according to Scott Keogh, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America. That compares with a 70% target for electric vehicles in Europe by 2030.
VW will begin to phase out its gasoline-powered models in North America, with the aim of exiting sales of combustion-engine vehicles early in the next decade.
Keogh said the company will begin building the ID.4 electric crossover this year and plans to sell its new ID.Buzz electric microbus in the United States in 2024. The company has not decided whether to build the ID.Buzz in North America.
VW will build the ID.4 at its Chattanooga plant in Tennessee, and is upgrading its Mexican plants in Puebla and Silao to starting building electric vehicles, motors and related components by mid-decade.
Keogh said the company also plans to build up battery production in the United States, where it has a partnership with South Korea's SK Innovation.
(Reporting by Paul Lienert in Detroit; editing by Grant McCool)
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