Volkswagen may be spending billions of dollars on its dieselgate scandal, but that doesn’t mean that the world’s biggest automaker isn’t prepared to spend billions more on engine development.

The German auto giant is preparing to spend about $11 billion on combustion engines and nearly $10 billion on electric propulsion over the next five years.

"Even though modern combustion engines will be relevant for at least another 20 years, it is clear that the future will be ruled by electric drives," said CEO Matthias Müller at an industry conference in Austria. "What's at stake is to develop a future-proof drives portfolio as a basis for transforming the core autos business."

The newly announced investment means that Volkswagen will be tripling its electrification budget, as compared to the last three years.

Meanwhile, it hopes its investment will improve fuel economy by 10%-15% in its combustion engines. A feat it says will be necessary as stricter emissions standards arrive in China, Europe, and the US.

Volkswagen still has to control costs, though, and that means reducing the variety of engines by about 40% by 2020. Müller would give no details as to which engines were on the chopping block, though.

[source: Automotive News ]