Volkswagen e-up! concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

A day before the opening of the Geneva Motor Show, Volkswagen CEO Dr. Martin Winterkorn has announced a plan for electrifying the brand's model lineup. While the absurdly expensive new Touareg hybrid probably won't make much of a dent in the market, VW plans to move forward quickly with more mass market vehicles. First up will be a test fleet of 500 battery-powered Golfs coming next year.

The Golfs will be followed in 2012 by a production hybrid version of the next-generation Jetta for the U.S. market. It makes sense for VW to launch the Jetta hybrid in the U.S. since this is the largest market for both hybrids and Jettas. The Jetta will be followed by hybrid versions of the Golf and Passat in 2013.

2013 will be a busy year for battery-powered cars at VW. The E-Up! (pictured), which was shown as a concept last fall in Frankfurt, will go into full production in 2013 as VW's first mass produced electric vehicle. That will be followed later the same year by full electric drive versions of the Golf and Jetta. Volkswagen is aiming to be the market leader in electric drive by 2018. Nissan, watch out.


Related Gallery2011 Volkswagen Touareg

Related GalleryVolkswagen e-up! concept

[Source: Volkswagen]


PRESS RELEASE

Volkswagen Sets Roadmap for E-Mobility
Prof. Winterkorn: In the future, the heart of the brand will also beat with electricity.

Volkswagen is taking E-mobility to the next level: mass production in the Golf and UP.

High-volume models will extend the hybrid product range
Wolfsburg / Geneva, 01 March 2010 - Volkswagen plans to expand its fleet of electric drive vehicles: The use of hybrid technology in production vehicles is already being demonstrated in the Touareg Hybrid at this year's Geneva Motor Show. In 2011, a test fleet of 500 Golfs with electric drives will follow. Starting in 2013, the high-volume Golf and Jetta models of the Volkswagen brand are expected to dominate the hybrid and electric vehicle market.

Volkswagen plans to strategically bundle its competence in electric traction and extend it step-by-step. It has now established a clear launch schedule for its E-traction products. Prof. Dr. Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG explains: "Volkswagen will be taking E-mobility to mass production. In 2011, we are expanding our test fleet by adding 500 Golfs with electric drive. A hybrid version of the Jetta for the US market follows in 2012. Starting in 2013, the E-UP goes into production. The goal is to become the market leader in E-mobility by the year 2018. We want to attain an electric vehicle market share of three percent within our entire range of products." He goes on to say: "We will take the hybrid out of its niche status with our high-volume models. In the future, the heart of the brand will also beat with electricity."

Today, the electric car is already technically capable of short ranges of up to 150 kilometres. And so, the Group's various brands will be conducting field studies in key strategic markets of Europe, North America and China in upcoming months. An important intermediate step here is Group-wide implementation of hybrid technology in production vehicles. In Geneva, Volkswagen is therefore showcasing its technological competence in hybrid development and is already introducing the new Touareg Hybrid.

"This technological competence will be advanced in Volkswagen's modular strategy of flexibly integrating hybrid and E-drives over a wide variety of vehicle platforms in all of the Group brands", says Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann, Group Chief Officer for Electric Traction. "We will continue to systematically exploit the potential of internal combustion engines with the goal of significantly reducing fuel consumption and emissions. So over the mid-term, vehicles with electric drives and those with internal combustion engines will co-exist."

The market launch schedule for purely electric cars is as ambitious as it is systematic: The E-UP will kick off the programme in 2013; the E-Golf will then be introduced, just before another crucial event of the Volkswagen Group's E-strategy follows at the end of the year with the launch of the E-Jetta. In subsequent years, a modular E-traction approach will systematically extend electrification to other model series.

Milestones of the planned VW Group's hybrid offensive: the Jetta Hybrid will debut in August 2012, the Passat Hybrid in August 2013 and two months later the Golf Hybrid.

These measures will make Volkswagen the leader in CO2-neutral mobility.