At the beginning of this decade, people were snickering up their sleeves at Elon Musk and his ridiculous commitment to making electric cars. Nobody is snickering today. The Volkswagen board has just approved a plan to invest $40 billion by 2022 to develop electric cars, autonomous cars, and other mobility solutions. One can argue that Elon Musk is the principal reason why Volkswagen is spending all that cash instead of just continuing to crank out millions of conventional Golf and Passat sedans.
Reuters reports the company will pay for the plan through cost savings throughout its current manufacturing operations and profits from selling more cars. “With the planning round now approved, we are laying the foundation for making Volkswagen the world’s No. 1 player in electric mobility by 2025,” chief executive officer Matthias Mueller told the press on November 17. The new plan is a big step forward from just two months ago when the company said it would invest $20 billion on electric cars and mobility by the year 2030.