VW: 'E-mobility will be the heart of the brand'

09:24, June 21, 2010      

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German automaker Volkswagen recently presented four of its alternative-energy cars in Shanghai, showing some of its long-term plans for global leadership in technology and overall sales.

Three of the cars - Golf, Lavida and Up! models - are purely electric, featuring the automaker's "blue-e-motion" technologies.

It was the first time the group displayed its new Golf blue-e-motion model outside Germany. The five-door, five-seat concept car can travel up to 150 km on one charge.

The company will begin field tests of the Golf electric next year and plans to start small-volume production of the model in 2013.

The Lavida blue-e-motion was co-developed by Chinese and German engineers at the Sino-German joint venture Shanghai Volkswagen. The company said it will produce the Lavida electric car in China "in the near future". The model on show also has a maximum range of 150 km on a single charge.

The Up! blue-e-motion - dubbed "the Beetle of 21st century" - is merely 3.19 m long. It has a top speed of 135km/h and a maximum single-charge range of 130 km. The company plans to begin production of the Up! electric in 2013.

All three models use lithium-ion battery packs that can recharge using common alternating current, which usually takes seven to eight hours. The battery can also be charged to 80 percent within half an hour using direct current in an emergency.

The company said that it expects to develop electric cars that are affordable for a wide range of people and are "uncompromisingly practical in everyday use".

"The heart of the brand will soon be running on electricity - our goal is to be the market leader in e-mobility by 2018," said Martin Winterkorn, chairman of the board of management of Volkswagen AG.

The company also showed the Touareg Hybrid in Shanghai that the company plans as the first hybrid VW model to go on sale in China, an event scheduled for next year.

Compared to a conventional SUV of the same size and power, the Touareg Hybrid can reduce fuel consumption by 17 percent in combined driving - a mix of urban, rural and highway environments.

Between January and May this year, Volkswagen's sales in China rose by 48 percent over the same period last year to about 778,000 units.

The company plans to double its annual capacity in China to 3 million vehicles by its fiscal 2013-2014 year.

Source:China Daily


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