Volkswagen Vows to Overtake Tesla With World’s Largest Electric-Car Fleet

Volkswagen has pulled into Tesla Inc.’s rearview mirror and vowed to overtake the electric-car pioneer with an extensive rollout of battery and hybrid models over the next five years, as well as new production facilities around the world.

The German car maker—which is the largest world-wide, with sales of 10.7 million vehicles last year—said Tuesday that it would build at least 16 electric-vehicle plants by 2025 in Europe, China and the U.S.

The company expects nine of those plants to be in operation by 2020. One of the plants would be set up at Volkswagen’s factory in Chattanooga, Tenn., with five planned for China and the remainder to be added to the three sites the company already operates in Europe.

. . . The company has already invested nearly half the €50 billion it has earmarked for batteries as it ramps up electric-vehicle production to three million cars a year by 2025.

It has secured battery supply from China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. and South Korea’s Samsung SDI Co. and LG Chem Ltd.

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