VW to develop electric trucks in $1.7 billion technology drive

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HAMBURG (Reuters) – Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) will invest 1.4 billion euros ($1.7 billion) in new technologies including electric trucks and buses by 2022, VW’s trucks chief Andreas Renschler said.

The money will go toward electric drives, autonomous vehicles and cloud-based systems, he said on the sidelines of a company event on Wednesday.

He also said a spin-off of VW’s trucks business remained an option.

Commercial truck makers are investing in electrification as regulators and policy makers step up pressure to curtail or eliminate pollution in big cities.

Navistar International Corp (NAV.N) and Volkswagen Truck & Bus announced plans last month to collaborate on electric vehicles, saying they would launch an electric medium-duty truck in North America by late 2019.

VW’s German rival Daimler (DAIGn.DE) last month delivered the first of a smaller range of electric delivery trucks to customers in New York.

Renschler earlier told news agency Bloomberg he expected electric trucks for local deliveries to exceed a 5 percent market share by 2025.

Reporting by Jan Schwartz; Writing by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Mark Potter