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VW board to vote on major EV plan

by Drew Johnson

If approved, VW would spend billions on vehicle electrification.

Volkswagen's supervisory board will meet later today to make a major decision on the automaker's future electric vehicle plans. The board will vote on a measure to spend billions to renovate three European plants for EV production, as well as a strategy to partner with other automakers on battery and autonomous tech.

If approved, VW would convert plants in Zwickau, Emden and Hannover, to produce electric vehicles. The plan would give VW the ability to produce 1 million electric vehicles annually by 2025, according to Reuters.

At least some of those 1 million electric vehicles could be sold by a brand outside of the VW family. The VW board is seeking a partnership with another automaker to split the costs of electric vehicle development and production. No deal has been reached, but VW is discussing an EV partnership with Ford.

Although electric is looking increasingly like the future of the auto industry, the plan is not guaranteed passage. Labor unions control half of the seats on VW's supervisory board, and those unions are concerned the shift to EVs could eliminate a significant number of jobs. Electric vehicles have far fewer components than gas- or diesel-powered vehicles, which make them less labor-intensive to build.

In order to alleviate some of those concerns, VW's management has offered to guarantee jobs at the three proposed EV plants through 2028.