Volkswagen AG aims for its all-electric vehicles, which will be launched in 2013, to account for 3% of annual sales by 2018, according to CEO Martin Winterkorn. However, the share of e-vehicles in urban centers is expected to be a lot higher. The VW Group, which will be led by VW brand, targets sales of over 10 million cars across the brands by 2018.
In 2013, VW will launch a full-electric version of its Up minicar, the E-Up, the E-Golf and the E-Jetta.
But before the arrival of these all-electric vehicles, VW will launch hybrids such as the Jetta Hybrid in 2012. Winterkorn admitted that the main hurdle in mass-producing electric vehicles still is the battery's high cost.
Batteries currently cost between 500 euros and 1,000 euros ($647 and $1,294) per kilowatt hour. Winterkorn told reporters that batteries don´t only have to be smaller and lighter; more importantly, they must be cheaper.
VW's battery lab is currently being managed by Martin Eberhard, the co-founder and former CEO of electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc.
In particular, Eberhard is conducting research into packaging off-the-shelf lithium ion batteries (found in laptops) to be used in cars. Notably, Tesla uses similar technology.