Volkswagen Group announced plans to introduce over 20 electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids in China in the next few years. Jochem Heizmann, head of Volkswagen Group China, said the new NEVs cover small cars and large-sized SUVs. The German carmaker, which recently launched a week-long campaign to promote e-mobility in Shanghai, China, is currently well behind other carmakers – like BMW Group, Tesla Motors and Nissan Motor -- in selling pure electric cars in the country.
The group had disclosed earlier that it intends to launch more than 15 electric or plug-in hybrids for the core VW brand and its other brands by 2018. A good number of those vehicles will be built in Japan. VW Group chief executive Martin Winterkorn remarked at the 2013 Frankfurt auto show that its brands could build 40 pure electric or plug-in hybrids if demand tells it.
He quipped at that time that VW is integrating EV output into existing plants like the ones in as Wolfsburg and Leipzig in Germany and in Puebla, Mexico. VW’s EV announcement comes as China levels up its bid to put an end to worsening pollution at its major cities.
The government has begun offering incentives and commenced imposing stiffer tougher fuel-efficiency and emission rules to encourage the use of electric cars. China wants to have 5 million green vehicles on its roads by the end of the decade.