Once thought to cost $23 billion, Volkswagen now says its electric-car investments will cost more. The automaker will now have to look for more efficiencies to match higher levels of spending.

Bloomberg reported Wednesday that CEO Herbert Diess said the figure will surpass $23 billion to offer an electric version of every car it sells. He added the automaker may need to reduce expenses elsewhere to continue investing in new technologies.

“The burden for our company, such as the cost of bringing to market electric cars, will be higher than expected,” Diess said in a joint interview with labor head Bernd Osterloh in an internal newsletter. “This is particularly so since some of our competitors have been making more progress.”

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Diess said VW will need to continue to lift profits as it calculates the cost of future technologies. Profitability rose to 4.1 percent since 2016, but the CEO called that a minimum benchmark.

“Four percent is a minimum, 5 percent to 6 percent allow for some future investments and with 7 percent to 8 percent we’re crisis-ready,” Diess said.

The automaker’s electric-car portfolio is an ambitious one. VW plans to launch one new electric car every month beginning in 2022 across its numerous brands. In total, VW will offer 300 electrified vehicles by 2030.

[Source: Bloomberg]