Volkswagen announced it will begin selling its first EV in the US market in 2015.
VW said that the e-Golf, which is an electrified version of the automaker’s subcompact car, will hit the US market in 2015, part of the company’s strategy to introduce more alternative-fuel vehicles. Analysts believe that this is a bold and important step for an automaker which plans to quickly expand in the US, but has not been able to keep pace with the auto market here recently.
Although VW has doubled its US sales in the past four years, it still has less than 4% of the US market share.
“We want to be the leader in the global context, but other manufacturers have gotten a little ahead of the curve,” said Marc Trahan, an executive vice president for Volkswagen’s American unit.
VW’s move is another sign that car makers are still introducing expensive EVs, ignoring the consumers’ tepid response. GM, which had moderate success with the Volt plug-in hybrid sedan, now develops a pure EV with an extended battery range.
“That’s the race for the holy grail,” said Terry Rhadigan, a spokesman for GM. “The 200-mile battery will be an important milestone, and we are working on it.”