Skip to main content

VW Chief pledges electrified vehicle leadership by 2018

Volkswagen, late to the game of electrified cars, says they have the technology lined up and ready to use across the vehicles manufactured by Volkswagen Group companies.

Volkswagen today claimed they have set their sites on global leadership in electrified vehicles. Ahead of the Frankfurt International Motor Show, VW's CEO Martin Winterkorn pledged they will be electrifying all vehicle classes, and that they have everything needed to make VW a top automaker in electric mobility by 2018.

Winterkorn is convinced that Volkswagen is strongly positioned: “We have the most comprehensive approach to tomorrow’s mobility. From highly-efficient, eco-friendly diesel, gasoline and natural gas-fuelled engines to classical hybrids, purely battery-driven vehicles and plug-in hybrids - no other automaker can match the broad range we have to offer.”

At the Frankfurt Motor Show, the company is showcasing several electrified vehicles from within VW's group of companies - including the all-electric e-up! and e-Golf as well as the Audi A3 e-tron plug-in hybrid and the Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid.

Winterkorn said that plug-in hybrids have the biggest market potential and that electric-drive vehicles were a key building block for achieving the ambitious climate protection targets. “The electric car cannot be a compromise on wheels, it must convince customers in every respect."

The initial goal is for the Volkswagen Group (which includes companies like Audi and Porsche) to sell a total of 14 models that are either hybrid, plug-in hybrid or all electric. Depending on demand they foresee that up to 40 models could be given electrified drive-trains.

Winterkorn said “We have developed the know-how for electric motors and battery systems at our own components plants, we have recruited 400 top experts for electric traction and qualified almost 70,000 development, production and service employees in this new technology – the biggest electrification training program in our industry.”

To roll out electric mobility swiftly and efficiently across all brands and vehicle classes, the Volkswagen Group has developed modular toolkit systems which have been designed for assembling electric drives.

According to Winterkorn, anyone who genuinely takes ecological responsibility seriously goes one step further: “We must have a holistic mindset and a comprehensive approach to mobility – from generating energy through development, production, retail and vehicle operation right down to recycling. Our clear goal, therefore, is to lead with holistic, modern mobility concepts.”