Volkswagen plans to expand its fleet of electric drive vehicles beginning with Golfs — similar to the 2010 model here.
, Europe's largest automaker, said this week that its goal is to become the market leader in E-mobility (electric vehicles) by the year 2018.
Volkswagen said the use of hybrid technology in production vehicles is already being demonstrated in the Touareg Hybrid at this year’s Geneva Motor Show.
Next year, a test fleet of 500 Golfs with electric drives will follow. And starting in 2013, the high-volume Golf and Jetta models of the Volkswagen brand are expected to dominate the hybrid and electric vehicle market.
Volkswagen said it plans to strategically bundle its competence in electric traction and extend it step-by-step, adding it has now established a clear launch schedule for its E-traction products.
Prof. Dr. Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG said the company will be taking E-mobility to mass production.
"In 2011, we are expanding our test fleet by adding 500 Golfs with electric drive. A hybrid version of the Jetta for the US market follows in 2012," he said.
"Starting in 2013, the E-UP goes into production. The goal is to become the market leader in E-mobility by the year 2018. We want to attain an electric vehicle market share of three percent within our entire range of products."
Winterkorn said VW will take the hybrid out of its niche status with its high-volume models. "In the future, the heart of the brand will also beat with electricity."
Today, the VW's electric car is already technically capable of short ranges of up to about 95 miles. The VW Group’s various brands will be conducting field studies in key strategic markets of Europe, North America and China in upcoming months.
"This technological competence will be advanced in Volkswagen’s modular strategy of flexibly integrating hybrid and E-drives over a wide variety of vehicle platforms in all of the Group brands", said Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann, Group Chief Officer for Electric Traction.
"We will continue to systematically exploit the potential of internal combustion engines with the goal of significantly reducing fuel consumption and emissions. So over the mid-term, vehicles with electric drives and those with internal combustion engines will co-exist."
The market launch schedule for purely electric cars is as ambitious as it is systematic: The E-UP will kick off the programme in 2013; the E-Golf will then be introduced, just before another crucial event of the Volkswagen Group’s E-strategy follows at the end of the year with the launch of the E-Jetta. In subsequent years, a modular E-traction approach will systematically extend electrification to other model series.
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