Volkswagen AG, the world’s second-largest automaker, has announced it aims to maintain competitiveness on the Chinese market – both its largest single market and the world’s biggest – by launching at least 20 models of battery-electric driven cars over the next few years.
Jochem Heizmann, head of Volkswagen Group China, said the German carmaker is prepared to offer local customers over 20 NEVs, from small cars to large-sized SUVs, from plug-in hybrids to pure electric cars,” in a bid to maintain its edge over its closest foreign rival – General Motors. The so-called new energy vehicles – as the Chinese government names plug-in hybrids, battery electrics and fuel cell powered autos – are also a response to the growing pollution and congestion in big Chinese cities. Some of them have already started imposing caps on traditionally powered vehicles – leaving sales fully open only for NEVs.
Heizmann was making the comments on the sidelines of a Shanghai event, where the German company is using a week-long campaign as a means to increase awareness for e-mobility in China’s financial hub.
Volkswagen is also behind rivals such as BMW, Tesla and Nissan when it comes to sales of pure, battery operated only electric vehicles in China. The automaker previously said it would launch in China at least 15 electric or plug-in hybrid cars for the Group’s brands by 2018.