Volkswagen is the largest automaker in Europe, and although they been a leader inclean diesel technology and fuel-efficient gas engines for many years,now they are developing zero-emission electric cars.
Volkswagenis investing heavily in the US as part of its plan to become the world’s biggest automaker by 2018. Developing hybrid and electric vehicles isalso part of Volkswagen’s global strategy.
Volkswagen is slatedto globally launch four electric cars in 2013. The new Up blue-e-motionis a city specialist, the Golf blue-e-motion is an 85 kW car that cantravel up to 140 km/h, with a range of 150 kilometers range, and theJetta blue-e-motion. The Lavida blue-e-motion will launch in China.
Volkswagen AG wants to take electric mobility mainstream so that it can be themarket leader by 2018. This is consistent with the German governmentsinitiative to put one million electric vehicles on the roads by 2020.
Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management ofVolkswagen AG comments: “Future electric cars give us enormousopportunities for reshaping mobility to be even more sustainable. Whenit comes to the environment, however, we must ensure that the energyused to operate these electric cars is produced from renewable sources.Since automotive manufacturers do not have any influence on the types of power plants that are built, the federal government must ensure thateco-friendly energy sources are utilised. Only then will we experience a genuine transition to a new era.”
Volkswagen AG is alsoaccelerating production of its hybrid models. The new Touareg Hybrid isalready on the market and a hybrid version of the Jetta debuts in 2012,then in 2013 more new hybrids will be introduced, including the E-Up!,Golf Hybrid and Passat Hybrid. It will begin a trial fleet ofall-electric E-Golf cars next year, at present they have a maximum range of 93 miles on a single charge.
Volkswagen will continue itsdevelopment work on advanced and extremely efficient petrol, diesel andnatural gas engines, because it is an indisputable fact that a widevariety of drive technologies will coexist far into the future.
VW’s Electronics Research Lab is working on battery technology for electriccars as well as electronic driver assistance systems. Batteries stillneed to get smaller, lighter and cheaper. In total, Volkswagen spendsmore than 5 billion euros (£4.25bn) a year on research and development.
Volkswagen brand will lead the effort to mass-produce electric cars and althoughthey do not have the hybrid and EV experience of the Japanese, analystsexpect it will become a serious competitor.
"I am deeply convinced Volkswagen will play a key role in electrifying the automotive world," Winterkorn told reporters.