VW’s Winterkorn: “We are electrifying all vehicle classes”; 14 models with electric or hybrid drive by 2014
The Volkswagen Group is aiming for global market leadership in electric mobility. “We are electrifying all vehicle classes, and therefore have everything we need to make the Volkswagen Group the top automaker in all respects, including electric mobility, by 2018”, said Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, CEO of Volkswagen AG on the eve of the 65th International Motor Show in Frankfurt am Main.
Initially, a total of 14 models from several Volkswagen Group brands will be available with electric or hybrid drive technology by 2014. If there is sufficient demand, up to 40 new models could be fitted with alternative drivetrains.
The Group is showcasing plug-in models including the Volkswagen all-electric e-up! and e-Golf; the Audi A3 e-tron plug-in hybrid and the Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid plug-in hybrid at the Frankfurt show.
Winterkorn said that Volkswagen had placed electric mobility “at the center of the Group”:
We have developed the know-how for electric motors and battery systems at our own components plants, we have recruited 400 top experts for electric traction and qualified almost 70,000 development, production and service employees in this new technology – the biggest electrification training program in our industry.
The Volkswagen Group invests more than €7 billion (US$9.2 billion) in research and development each year. A significant share is spent on developing technologies and components for electric mobility—more than in any other field.
The Group’s key to rolling out electric mobility swiftly and efficiently across all brands and vehicle classes is the modular toolkit systems which from the start have been designed for assembling electric drives. Production in Bratislava, Puebla, Wolfsburg, Leipzig or Ingolstadt can now respond flexibly and at low risk to demand as it arises and can reduce both weight and costs through the use of proven components.
We must have a holistic mindset and a comprehensive approach to mobility—from generating energy through development, production, retail and vehicle operation right down to recycling. Our clear goal, therefore, is to lead with holistic, modern mobility concepts.—Martin Winterkorn