It sounds like executives from the Volkswagen Group are speaking with one voice on the subject of plug in vehicles. While both Volkswagen and its premium brand Audi are working on various combinations of hybrid, plug-in and even fuel cell technology, it doesn't necessarily follow that these technologies will be readily available anytime soon. VW of America CEO Stefan Jacoby spoke to a group of media in Seattle last week where he told the gathering that its unlikely that plug-in vehicles will go mainstream within the next decade.

The issue as it is today is affordability. The problems remain mass, capacity and cost of batteries. Right now you can have any two. Jacoby expects plug-in vehicles to become more common, but until the costs come down while still meeting customer performance expectations, the masses won't be adopting.

In the near term, VW plans to focus on optimizing existing gas and diesel powertrains by expanding availability of direct injection, downsizing and turbocharging. Automatic start-stop capability will also help, along with weight reduction to achieve the goal of halving fuel consumption over the next ten years.

[Source: The Car Connection]