VW’s Winterkorn: “We are electrifying all vehicle classes”; 14 models with electric or hybrid drive by 2014
09 September 2013
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
That is a pretty big statement, coming from the home of diesel.
I wonder will their hybrids by diesel or gasoline?
Also, 2014 is not fat away - I look forward to a Golf and Passat hybrids - I just hope they are affordable.
Posted by: mahonj | 09 September 2013 at 01:31 PM
AFAIK the only ones planning on making plug in hybrid diesels are Peugeot.
The problem is that diesels come at both a cost and weight premium, so the extra cost and weight of the batteries is even more punishing.
Posted by: Davemart | 09 September 2013 at 01:40 PM
Theses are the words from Toyota but even faster/sooner. Is it possible? Will it be mostly 'mild hybrids' à la GM?
Posted by: HarveyD | 09 September 2013 at 02:55 PM
VW’s Winterkorn(a metallurgy PHD): “We are electrifying all vehicle classes”
"Rick" Wagoner, MBA/bean counter/EV1 crusher/typical GM executive - ex-GM CEO - bankrupts GM(decades largest automaker), now crying about his $20 million pension reduced to $8 million. http://search.autonews.com/business/finance/CEOs/richard-wagoner.htm
Bob Lutz, MBA/bean counter - ex-GM VP - assists bankrupting GM http://money.cnn.com/2004/01/06/pf/autos/detroit_gm_hybrids/
Technical companies need technical leadership or one gets US taxpayer bailout millionaires.
Posted by: kelly | 09 September 2013 at 03:00 PM
My view is they found that gains with pure diesel were getting harder and harder to achieve, so they switched to electric (as well as / or) diesel.
With hybrids, you get a 30% gain over gasoline (and less over diesel), but there is still a step change to be had.
(And a smaller, but still definite gain with mild hybrids).
With PHEVs, and the way CO2/km is currently calculated in Europe, you can more or less dial in any CO2 level you like (by changing the battery size).
So that more or less future proofs them against serious CO2 level reductions, now and in the foreseeable future.
Thus, they have a short and medium term plan [IMO].
Posted by: mahonj | 09 September 2013 at 03:25 PM
“We are electrifying all vehicle classes"
Which means they will have at least one electrified vehicle in every class - but it may only be ONE electrified vehicle in some classes.
Posted by: ai_vin | 09 September 2013 at 03:25 PM
VW said recently that they are buying LiIon batteries for 200 Euros per kWh. I think that improves the chances that their hybrids and PHEVs will be affordable.
Posted by: clett | 10 September 2013 at 01:14 AM