Europe’s biggest carmaker, Volkswagen, said he German government’s goal to have 1 million electric cars on the country’s roads by 2020 can be achieved if partly battery-powered cars like hybrids are taken into account.
Volkswagen Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn said, “We will make our contribution toward this goal,” during a panel discussion at a ceremony near chemical producer BASF SE’s headquarters in Ludwigshafen, Germany.
Plug-in hybrids, which can switch between rechargeable battery power and conventional combustion engines, “offer the biggest market potential,” and should help with a rollout of electric mobility on a larger scale, Winterkorn said.
The CEO reiterated Wolfsburg, Germany-based Volkswagen’s plan to offer as many as 40 electric or hybrid models in the event that demand for low-emission cars takes off. The manufacturer will produce 14 vehicles with alternative drive through next year after introducing electric versions of the Golf hatchback and Up! city car at the Frankfurt auto show last month. Volkswagen AG also showed new plug-in hybrid versions of the Porsche brand’s Panamera four-door coupe and Audi’s A3 compact.
Still, corporate enthusiasm for alternative-drive engines has failed to translate into significant sales amid consumers’ concerns that powering systems offer only limited distance before a recharge is required and objections to higher prices.
Purely or partly battery-powered vehicles accounted for 4,157 new car registrations in Germany in 2012, about twice as many as the year before, according to the VDA auto-industry association. Germany’s new car market amounts to about 3 million vehicles a year.
) - Thursday, October 24th, 2013 - filed under Industry
. Image credit: .
Discuss: VW says 1 million EV’s goal could be achievable