VW Group to offer 10 electric and plug-in hybrid models in China by 2018

Article by Christian A., on May 1, 2014

Volkswagen Group is planning to launch 10 electric and plug-in hybrid models in China by 2018 as it bids to further penetrate the country. The group recently rolled out the Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid in China, to be followed by two electric cars, the Volkswagen Up and e-Golf.

Volkswagen is also intending to launch two other plug-in hybrids in China in 2015 -- the Audi A3 e-tron and the Volkswagen Golf GTE.

All of them will be shipped from Germany. In the next year, VW China will launch plug-in hybrid versions of the Audi A6 and a "new mid-size limousine" suited for the Chinese market, both of which will be produced by VW’s joint ventures with China FAW Group Corp. and SAIC Motor Corp.

The group will also introduce a Bentley plug-in hybrid in China. The country’s central government is offering incentives of up to CHY57,000 ($9,200) for an electric car, and CHY33,250 for a plug-in hybrid. On the other hand, conventional hybrids are not eligible for the incentives.

VW Group posted a 15-percent rise in sales In China in the first quarter of 2014 to 880,700 vehicles. It is targeting to sell 3.5 million vehicles this year.

Volkswagen revealed that it will be unveiling the new Golf GTE plug-in hybrid during the 2014 Geneva Motor Show. This will be the fifth powertrain to be part of the Golf, in addition to diesel, gasoline, CNG, and pure electric versions. NEDC combined hybrid fuel economy rating is measured at 157 mpg with CO2 emissions of 35 g. While all-electric range is 31 miles, overall range is 584 miles.

With the Golf GTE plug-in hybrid, this means that Volkswagen will be the world’s first automaker to deliver a model line that comes in a full range of conventional powertrains and alternative ones. There will two engines under the new Golf GTE. The first is the turbocharged TSI1.4-liter direct-injection engine capable of 148 hp and the electric motor that can deliver 101 hp.

Combined, the two can deliver the stated system power which is 201 hp. For the model’s propulsive power, the sole source is the electric motor. This allows the Golf GTE to reach a maximum speed of 81 mph. Should the full power of the model ever be utilized, the model is able to accelerate from 0 mph to 62 mph (0 km/h to 100 km/h) in 7.6 seconds. Running on race tracks or the autobahn, the Golf GTE has managed to reach maximum speed at 135 mph. Peak torque of the gas engine and electric motor combination is 258 lb.-ft. and results in exceptional pulling power.

This amount of torque ensures that the GTE is able to stand out apart from the rest plug-in hybrid models. By naming the new Golf as GTE, this makes it fall in line with the GTD and GTI abbreviations, two sporty models that have long become icons. It was in 1976 that the GTI first used the “hot hatch” term. Presently, the GTI considered as the world’s highly successful compact sports car.

While the “I” in GTI stands for electronic fuel injection, the “D” in GTD is for diesel fuel injection. The GTD was first released in 1982. Already the best-selling sports cars from Golf, the latest versions of these two models were released in 2013. The sporty compact car principle has now been applied to the third model, which is the Golf GTE.

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