At Volkswagen Electronics research Laboratory earlier this month, executives revealed the company’s plan for electric vehicles. “We want to become the leader in electrification,” said Dr. Rudolf Krebs, Volkswagen Group chief officer for electric traction.
Although Volkswagen’s gasoline powered vehicles have become more efficient, they aren’t efficient enough to meet the new environmental goals set by the auto industry. 2 years ago, the VW group set up an internal target of having plug-in electric cars represent 3 percent of sales by 2018.
The e-up!, which is a small electric commuter car, will not go on sale in the United States, but according to Dr. Krebs, is planned to go into production in mid 2013 and go on sale in Europe in the fall of 2013.
An all electric version of the VW Golf will go into production in early 2014 and will be sold in the United States in 2014. Additionally, e-Golf and other plug-in models will be sold in multiple US markets, not just California – hinting that the vehicles will not merely be compliance electric vehicles.
Here’s a slide from VW’s presentation outlining their electrification roadmap, from Plugincars.com
The slide shows a plug-in version of the Porsche Spyder 918 going into production in 2013, followed by 6 other plug-in vehicles in 2014 including the Audi A3, Audi A6, Audi A8, Audi Q7, and a Golf PHEV and Passat PHEV.
Although the eUp! will be offered in the Europe, but not the United States, Dr. Krebs did not see a fundamental difference between European and American consumers—except that he believes U.S. consumers are more cost sensitive.