Coming late to the party, VW plans to expand its fleet of electric drive vehicles, using the arrival of the Touareg Hybrid at this year's Geneva Auto Show as the first toe in the water. But the US market will be the first to get a Jetta Hybrid and the E-Up is finally coming.
This information was relayed by comments from Prof Dr Winterkorn of VW AG who explained, "Volkswagen will take 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 will follow in 2012. 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 with our range of products."
He wet on to say: "We will take hybrid out of its niche status with our high-volume models. In the future, the heart of the brand will also beat with electricity." Electric cars are currently capable of short ranges up to 150km (90 miles). But the VW Group's brands are conducting field studies in Europe, North America and China in upcoming months. An important intermediate step is the Group-wide implementation of hybrid technology in production vehicles. In Geneva, Volkswagen will therefore showcase its new Touareg Hybrid.
"This technological competence will be advanced in Volkswagen's modular strategy of integrating hybrid and E-drives over a wide variety of vehicle platforms in all the brands," said Dr Karl-Thomas Neumann, Group Chief Officer for Electric Traction. "We will continue to exploit the potential of internal combustion engines with the goal of significantly reducing fuel consumption and emissions. So vehicles with electric drives and those with internal combustion engines will co-exist." The market launch schedule for purely electric cars sees the The E-Up program kick off in 2013; the E-Golf will be introduced after, followed at the end of the year by the E-Jetta. In subsequent years, a modular E-traction approach will systematically extend electrification to other model series.
Milestones of the planned VW Group's hybrid offensive: the Jetta Hybrid will debut in August 2012, the Passat Hybrid in August 2013 and two months later the Golf Hybrid.