Volkswagen plans to launch series of new hybrid and electric cars by 2013 and expects these zero-emission vehicles to account for 3 percent of its global sales by 2018, Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn said on Monday.
VW plans to launch the Touareg Hybrid SUV in the U.S. market later this year, followed by the Jetta Hybrid in 2012. Volkswagen will launch E-Golf and E-Up! in 2013. One of the two electric cars will be available that year in the U.S., Winterkorn said.
“We aim to boost the share of E-vehicles in our annual sales to 3 percent by 2018,” he told reporters ahead of an event showcasing the redesigned Jetta sedan. “In urban centers, this share could be a lot higher.”
Volkswagen is investing heavily in the U.S. now as part of its plan to become the world’s biggest automaker by 2018.
Volkswagen invests more than $6.45 billion (5 billion Euros) annually in research and development, and has more than 23,000 employees worldwide focused on these initiatives, Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn.
The investment required for development, especially in the field of e-mobility, is based on sound economic grounds, according to Winterkorn. The operational result in the first five months of the ongoing year has developed better than expected; the same is true for the Group’s vehicle sales.
At ERL, more than 100 engineers and scientists are working on the cars of tomorrow. In addition to electric mobility, the ERL team is working on driver assistance systems, online navigation and social networking/ geo-tagged information, among other things. In addition to the Palo Alto facility, the Group Research division includes the Volkswagen Research Lab China (VRC) and Technical Representative Tokyo (VTT).