When you're Europe's largest automaker and your largest global market happens to be the one most notorious for its pollution (China), some solutions just present themselves. Volkswagen may be heeding that call. During the upcoming Beijing Motor Show, the company is expected to announce plans to produce plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in China, Reuters says, citing sources within the company.
Few details have emerged, though the plug-ins will likely be produced at VW's Foshan factory in South China, which currently makes the Golf and Audi A3 and has plans to eventually make 600,000 vehicles annually. News has been percolating for a while, as Oliver Schmidt, general manager engineering and environmental office for Volkswagen Group of America, said last March that the company was planning at least two plug-in hybrid lines under the VW badge (and another three with its Audi and Porsche affiliates), including possibly a Touareg and Jetta PHEV. VW said late last month that it was looking to speed up development of "particularly eco-friendly models" made by Shanghai Volkswagen as well as developing a "new, very eco-friendly vehicle" with First Automotive Works (FAW).
Earlier this year, VW unveiled its Golf GTE plug-in hybrid at the Geneva Motor Show. That model has a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and an electric motor to provide 201 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The car can travel as many as 81 miles on electric power alone.