German Car Industry to Invest $45 Billion in Electric Vehicles

(Bloomberg) -- Germany’s automotive industry will invest over 40 billion euros ($45 billion) in electric vehicles over the next three years to triple the number of models vying for buyers, the head of the VDA car industry association said.

The plan is pivotal to reach ambitious goals in the European Union to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and requires the expansion of charging infrastructure, VDA President Bernhard Mattes said Saturday in a statement ahead of next week’s Geneva car show.

“The ramp-up of electric mobility is coming in Europe,” Mattes said. “This also demands the appropriate regulatory conditions -- right across Europe.”

Carmakers are under pressure from record outlays on electric cars for a payoff that might be years away. Consumers continue to balk at high sticker prices, limited driving ranges and patchy charging infrastructure. With the number of electric models from Volkswagen AG, Daimler AG and BMW AG reaching about 100 over the next three years, Mattes called for more incentives for buyers.

In addition, the German automakers are expected to spend 18 billion euros on connected and self-driving cars, VDA said. The cost burden has prompted old rivalries to break down. Daimler and BMW last month announced they’d cooperate on self-driving vehicles, days after detailing plans to turn their merged car-sharing operations into a global player. Volkswagen and Ford Motor Co. have agreed to cooperate on vans, a partnership that may extend to autonomous vehicles in future.

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