German chancellor Merkel visits VW Group's electric cars, hybrids in Berlin
The entire group was represented with the Audi e-tron and Q5 hybrid joining the Porsche 918 Spyder and Cayenne hybrid. The bulk of the display focused on the range of electrified Volkswagens starting with the recently announced Touareg hybrid and continuing on to the Golf blue-e-motion and the Berlin Taxi.
Hybrid versions of the Golf, Jetta and Passat will start arriving in 2012 with full battery electric versions of the Up!, Golf and Jetta following in 2013.
Volkswagen AG Invites German Chancellor to Journey to the Future
* Group presents to Angela Merkel the new Golf blue-e-motion with E-drive
* Audi and Porsche show sports car world of tomorrow to federal government
* Germany initiates "National Platform for Electric Mobility" in Berlin
Wolfsburg / Berlin, 02 May 2010 - Tomorrow, at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel will be viewing a top-notch range of future electric and hybrid vehicles from the Volkswagen Group at an event marking the founding of the "National Platform for Electric Mobility" – a new alliance dedicated to promoting sustainable mobility. The German Chancellor will have the opportunity to view the Golf blue-e-motion – at its world's first public showing and will also see the Berlin Taxi that is as compact as it is cleverly designed. Audi and Porsche are presenting two innovative sports car concepts to the government leader – the Audi e-tron and the Porsche 918 Spyder. The range of electric cars on display will reflect the Group's broadly based expertise in electric mobility. At the same time, these cars excite expectations for the future and the world of tomorrow, which – and a glance at the Golf blue-e-motion, the Berlin Taxi, the e-tron and the 918 Spyder illustrate this well – will in large measure be powered with zero emissions, but will certainly not generate zero passion for driving.
Take Volkswagen: The brand's first electric car, launching in 2013, is the Up blue-e-motion (a new city specialist). Following in the same year are the Golf blue-e-motion (85 kW, 140 km/h, up to 150 kilometre range) and the technically closely-related Jetta blue-e-motion. In the same timeframe, the Lavida blue-e-motion will also launch in China. With these four models – offered worldwide – Volkswagen will build a solid bridge to the era of electric mobility. Take Audi: As soon as late 2012, the company will launch a small production run of the high-performance Audi e-tron sports car (150 kW, 5.9 s for 0-100 km/h, up to 250 kilometre range). And anyone who has seen the compact Audi A1 e-tron at the Geneva International Motor Show knows that this will just be the beginning. Take Porsche: The 918 Spyder (with lithium-ion battery, electric motors and V8 petrol engine) has already written automotive history as the sportiest plug-in hybrid; the 320 km/h concept car completed the North Loop of the Nürburgring with a lap time of 7 minutes 30 seconds, minutes faster than the legendary Porsche GT. It is a sensation considering its rated fuel consumption of 3.0 l/100 km and 70 g/km CO2. By the way, in E-Drive mode, the Porsche 918 Spyder moves with zero emissions.
A clear objective: Volkswagen AG wants to take electric mobility out of its niche model status and become the market leader for a new type of sustainable mobility by 2018. This strategy coincides with planning by the German federal government, which would like to see about one million electric vehicles on the roads by 2020. Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG comments: "Future electric cars give us enormous opportunities for reshaping mobility to be even more sustainable.
When it comes to the environment, however, we must ensure that the energy used to operate these electric cars is produced from renewable sources. Since automotive manufacturers do not have any influence on the types of power plants that are built, the federal government must ensure that eco-friendly energy sources are utilised. Only then will we experience a genuine transition to a new era."
In parallel with the electric vehicle offensive, Volkswagen AG is accelerating its introduction of new hybrid models. The new Touareg Hybrid and the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid are already on the market; in late 2010 the Audi Q5 Hybrid will launch, followed by the Audi A8 Hybrid; a hybrid version of the Jetta debuts in 2012, then in 2013 more new hybrids will be introduced, including the Golf Hybrid and Passat Hybrid. Just as methodically, Volkswagen will continue its development work on advanced and extremely efficient petrol, diesel and natural gas engines, because it is an indisputable fact that a wide variety of drive technologies will coexist far into the future.
"This makes it all the more important for the German federal government to proactively support the introduction of new technologies. With regard to electric mobility, the current temporary exemption of E-cars from taxes is inadequate," says Prof. Dr. Winterkorn. The Volkswagen chief continues: "Starting in 2013 – the launch year for many new electric vehicles – the purchase of cars with zero-emissions drive systems should be promoted with a sustainability incentive. France, for example, has already pledged a cash incentive of several thousand Euros to buyers. We need to send such a signal in Germany as well. Moreover, and this is no less important, the German federal government must very quickly make provisions for broad coverage with a network of recharging stations across the republic, so that the infrastructure is available at the same time the electric car offensive is launched. Each new recharging station will also reinforce the public's trust in the everyday utility of electric vehicles. Both of these components – state-funded incentives and infrastructure – are crucial and cannot endure any delay."
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