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TMR Team | Sep, 18 2013 | 3 Comments

Volkswagen has been working away at developing a production-ready electric vehicle for some years now, with the project culminating in the launch of the new e-Golf at this month's Frankfurt Motor Show.

Before that came the light e-Up, and a host of concepts that included the e-Co-Motion electric van and the 2008 Blue-e-Motion Golf prototype.

Now, the carmaker has announced plans to become the world's leading brand for electric and hybrid vehicles by 2018 - the same year it expects to become the top-selling carmaker in the world.

"We are starting at exactly the right time. We are electrifying all vehicle classes, and therefore have everything we need to make the Volkswagen Group the top automaker in all respects, including electric mobility, by 2018," Volkswagen CEO Dr. Martin Winterkorn said in Frankfurt this week.

To reach its goal, Volkswagen will need to surpass Toyota, which has sold more than five million hybrid models since 1997.

There are currently 19 hybrid models available across the Toyota and Lexus brands, and the carmaker says it intends to launch 18 new hybrids by December 2015.

Volkswagen will also have to contend with the likes of Honda and the Renault-Nissan alliance, all big players in global EV and hybrid market.

To get there, Volkswagen intends to offer full-electric and hybrid models in the VW, Audi, Seat and Porsche marques.

However, the company has yet to confirm how many electric and hybrid models it intends to launch between now and 2018.

"It is our customers who decide for themselves just how much e-mobility they want," Winterkorn said. "The electric vehicle cannot be a compromise on wheels, it must convince customers in every respect."

 
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