Europe’s biggest automaker, Volkswagen, said the German government’s plan to have 1 million electric cars on the roads by 2020 is viable if hybrids make the count as well.
Volkswagen Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn said, “We will make our contribution toward this goal,” during a ceremony near chemical producer BASF SE’s headquarters in Ludwigshafen, Germany.
Plug-in hybrids, which can use both rechargeable battery power and gasoline through a combustion engine, “offer the biggest market potential,” and should help assist the introduction of electric mobility on a bigger scale, Winterkorn said.
The CEO reiterated the Wolfsburg, Germany-based Volkswagen’s plan to offer no less than 40 electric or hybrid models if demand for low-emission cars picks up. The carmaker will build 14 models with alternative drive in 2014 after releasing 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, ongoing corporate enthusiasm for alternative-drive vehicles has failed to mirror into the real life, with no significant sales amid consumers’ worries that the battery operated systems offer only limited distance before a recharge is required and objecting to the higher acquisition prices.