Volkswagen plans to start production of electric cars at its two Chinese joint ventures, Shanghai Volkswagen and FAW Volkswagen, by 2014, increasing mass production with 100,000 until 2018.
Although the demand for EVs has been held back due to lack of models, high prices, limited charging facilities and safety concerns, this is to be changed soon.
Volkswagen China president and chief executive Karl-Thomas Neumann considers that e-vehicles will really hit the market since they are desperately needed. Until 2015, Volkswagen plans to launch 50 new models, including the company’s first plug-in hybrid in China, where it already has a 16% market share.
“E-vehicles have so far been limited by cost batteries, and a lack of economies of scale and models considered appealing to car buyers and they were needed to reduce China’s pollution and reliance on oil,” Neumann said.
The electric vehicle industry is considered by the central government as a top priority, earmarking $1.5 billion per year, becoming in the following 10 years one of the leading producers of clean vehicles. 25 cities, including Beijing, Hangzhou, Shanghai and Shenzhen, will lead the migration to green vehicles.