VW plans to start EV production in China from 2014 image

Volkswagen AG, Europe’s largest automaker plans to start making electric vehicles from 2014 and to ramp up to mass production by 2018, Reuters reports.

Initial output is estimated at a few thousand vehicles, rising to 100,000 by 2018, the president and chief executive of Volkswagen’s China operations, Karl-Thomas Neumann, told an EU-China business convention in Beijing.

Volkswagen AG’s both joint ventures in China — Shanghai Volkswagen and FAW Volkswagen would develop its own electric vehicle Neumann said.

The German automaker already has a market share of 16% in China but have piled together $19 billion dollars to invest in the Chinese sector.

By 2015 VW plans to launch nearly 50 new models in China. The whole of the VW group probably only has a few more than 50 models on offer in Europe, so it looks like the designers and engineers at the Wolfsburg factory are going to be flat out with the development of the proposed plans.

Last year, politicians in Beijing had set targets for one million “new energy” vehicles to be on the roads by 2015 and 5 million by 2020, but this could now include regular hybrid vehicles to help meet the targets which many now feel was highly unrealistic.