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According to Auto Motor und Sport, Volkswagen chief executive officer, Martin Winterkorn, has loosely committed to launching a plug-in hybrid version of every model in the German automaker's future lineup of vehicles. Winterkorn told Auto Motor und Sport that plug-in hybrids have a considerable advantage over electric-only vehicles and, as such, the automaker's near-term future will be chock-full of plug-in hybrids.
VW's head honcho, in a translated interview with Auto Motor und Sport, stated:
I am firmly convinced that plug-in hybrids are the right solution for the next ten years. You can drive 50 to 60 kilometers all-electric and have the full flexibility of an internal combustion engine. The plug-in hybrid will be there for all platforms in the Volkswagen Group.
Apparently, Winterkorn is not satisfied with the performance of lithium-ion battery technology and says that even under ideal conditions, electric vehicles often have a range of less than 150 kilometers (93.2 miles). This, according to Winterkorn, is simply insufficient but he did say that lithium-air batteries might hold the key to future.

[Source: Auto Motor und Sport via Green Car Reports]


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  • 26 Comments
      Spec
      • 3 Years Ago
      Oh . . . and isn't this a total admission that GM is 4 years ahead of them with the Volt? BMW tacitly admitted this as well by hiring away the Volt's chief engineer Frank Weber. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
      Spec
      • 3 Years Ago
      Uh . . . so why haven't you put one out? BTW, pure EVs are fine. Not every vehicle needs to go 300 miles. If a family has a pure EV and a gas/hybrid/PHEV car then they have long distance driving covered with that gas/hybrid/PHEV car.
        Marco Polo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Spec
        Spec, you jump to some pretty convenient conclusions. I may come as a shock to you, but not everyone lives in a suburban family situation. Nor can every family can afford 2 vehicles. In fact most cars are owned by individuals. Trying to fit everyones lifestyle and aspirations into your philosophy, doesn't work. That why there are nearly three million Toyota hybrids alone, and 1600 Tesla's. EV's a great, if they suit the owners needs, if not, then REEV's or hybrids are more practical.
          Spec
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Well yeah . . . my point is that EVs are fine for many people. Certainly not all. He is the one saying PHEVs are the 'right solution'. I think the 'right solution' depends on the specific problem. And call me crazy but I think the price differential may have something to do with the Toyota hybrid v Tesla issue. And that is why pure EVs can be the better solution for many instead of a PHEV. If production constraints were removed from both, I suspect the Leaf would outsell the Volt right now because a $33K pure EV with range limitations is easier than a $40K PHEV for many. With that extra $7K, you can buy a used clunker for the days you need to drive long distances. That said, I want to see both EVs and PHEVs prosper.
          Nick
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          MarcoPolo Actually, fact is that a 100 mile range is suffifient for 97% of all Americans. Sure it would be nicer to have a 300 mile range, but it actually isn't a real problem but an excuse.
          Marco Polo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Boy, you'd think I'd run over someones favourite dog! But, in reality, just criticism from one guy who wants a $25k Tesla, another who complains about mysterious 'constraints' on EV manufacture and finally EVesuperhero, who rants on ignorantly about brainwashing! Of all these ranters, I am probably the only one who has actually built, not one, but several EV's! I purchased 2 production EV's, 4 years before The Leaf was released! My latest acquisition is an EV with Tesla-like range. I would say, having spent twenty years advocating the development of EV's, I am entitled to an opinion? But, I also understand the restrictions of EV's, and just as Carlos Ghosn says, they are not suitable for everyone at this time. Lot's of people have only one car. They don't want (or see the logic) , in buying a "second hand clunker' just to fit in with narrow minded "greener than thou' philosophy. The proof of what I'm saying is that even a variation of the Prius Hybrid can attract 60,000 pre-orders! Ever think that calling people "Brain washing BS" and " People are so scared to step outside there little plastic bubbles small minds " will be dismissed by most sane people as just the ravings of a disrespectful arrogant fool?
          paulwesterberg
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          If tesla roadsters were mass produced and retailed for for $25k I would own one. So would millions of other people.
          letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          PW: And I'm sure we'd all buy mass-produced Rolexes that cost $25. Except just like a $25K Tesla Roadster, that isn't going to happen. Economies of scale only get you so far regarding cost reductions; to get below a certain point you have to start decontenting as well. The first thing to go to bring the cost down would like be the carbon bodywork, and then battery capacity, fit and finish would likely suffer as well... My point is, even Tesla couldn't make a Tesla Roadster (even in high volume) for $25K.
          EVSUPERHERO
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Polo wrote: "Trying to fit everyones lifestyle and aspirations into your philosophy, doesn't work." This tripe your spewing Marco polo is exactly what GM and VW wish to proliferate. The idea that unless the EV goes 500 miles it will not be acceptable. Brain washing BS. People are so scared to step outside there little plastic bubbles they live in that they buy this open road spew that GM puts out in there commercials, though these bubble people never venture out on the open road. EV limitations are in the bubble people's small minds and that is reality. GM and VW will keep spewing the propaganda as long as people are dumb enough to believe it.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Spec
        2 out of three households in the US have more than one car, about evenly split between those with two cars and those with more. The number will be lower in Europe, as there are only about 600 cars/1000 people versus 800 for the US, but OTOH will include large numbers of no-car families due to better public transport and more compact cities. However, that is for all households. The numbers for the people who buy new cars must be even more weighted to multi-car households. That does not mean that the range limitations of electric only vehicles will be OK for everyone, as of course there are still going to be significant numbers with only one car, or both partners having long commutes etc, but it does mean that for practical purposes with the relatively tiny numbers of electric cars being produced the potential market is huge for simply those people who do have access to another car for long runs.
          • 3 Years Ago
          Marco, The exact figures don't much matter, when the production of Nissan/Renault even at 500,000 will be a very small fraction of those who would be perfectly OK with the range, whether because they have two cars or whatever. It is rather like selling a convertible. That will never suit most people, but that matters not in the slightest to assessing if it is worth producing a model, all that matters is that it suits enough people. IOW Ghosn knows his onions, and his problem is producing the cars and getting the price down, not selling them. There are 'enough' people several times over who they will suit. Renault already reckon they can hit at least 125 miles range for the Zoe, maybe more, when it is released in 2012.
          Marco Polo
          • 3 Years Ago
          David, What you say sounds logical, but these demographics no longer apply to marketing automobiles, and haven't for maybe, 20 years. The basic unit of car buyers being a suburban family, no longer applies. In fact the basic family unit has been considerably eroded. Automobile marketing demographics are now considerably different. Toyota created a whole new auto marketing sector with the advent of the Prius, and followed it with the Lexus Hybrid. EV's will appeal to a small but growing number of people who fall into one of three new marketing sectors. Volt is attempting to move out of those categories and compete in the mainstream automobile market. The Tesla S, when it's released, will also be forced to compete in this market if it is to achieve any realistic volume.
        fairfireman21
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Spec
        Actualy we do have 2 vehicles, one crossover and one SUV. we use the crossover for all our main traveling and I use the suv for work and personal. It is a proven fact the cheapest and best car is the one you already own. If we got rid of the crossover for an ev we would still have to keep the suv, so then if we went on vacation or had to go to a childs ball game that was more than 35 miles away we would have to take the suv witch has much worse mileage than the crossover, both are paid for and the crossover gets realy good mileage. I have seen no less than 23 mpg and as much as 37 mpg. The suv gets much worse but I have to keep it because I have to tow. So why would it benifit us in getting rid of either? We would go thru about $4000 in gas per year if gas was at $4 per gallon, but a new Leaf would cost about $7500 and it still would not meet our needs.
          skierpage
          • 3 Years Ago
          @fairfireman21
          I'm tired of reading all your variations on "I wouldn't buy an EV". Next!
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 3 Years Ago
      Correction.. plug in hybrids are a stepping stone to the future.
      wardialer
      • 3 Years Ago
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solectria_Sunrise under *ideal* conditions this car goes 374 miles / charge using NiMH GM Ovonic cells 10 years ago. about 200 miles / charge going 60 mph. "there's no way we at VW can build or improve on cars that enthusiasts built 10 years ago... we just don't have that kind of expertise or resources." i think VW is ignoring the power of the internet, where quotes are logged and archived, only to be retrieved conveniently at any point in the future. still no vision or leadership from VW. winterkorn is a failure.
        JP
        • 3 Years Ago
        @wardialer
        Exactly. A little attention to aerodynamics and lighter weight materials and they get much more range from existing batteries. Just think what this could do as an EV: http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/reviews/hybrid-electric/volkswagen-xl1-test-drive-1-liter-235-mpg
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 3 Years Ago
      like a nazi saying maybe less war. maybe
        Marco Polo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        You really are a vile little **** aren't you? Professor Martin Winterkorn's , (yes, he has real credentials,unlike you) family suffered persecution under the Nazi regime. As usual, you can't wait to spread a little poison every where you go.
      krona2k
      • 3 Years Ago
      Chop chop then, get on with it...
        Nick
        • 3 Years Ago
        @krona2k
        No kidding, stop building flashy EV concept cars and start building REAL cars for f--'s sake.
      skierpage
      • 3 Years Ago
      2013 is really close for those plug-in hybrid versions of the Golf, Jetta and Audi A3! If the drivetrain is is like the A3 e-tron concept then it's a "209-horsepower, turbocharged and direct-injected 1.4-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and a 26-hp electric motor, with a seven-speed, dual-clutch automated manual transmission handling the shifting duties. Energy is stored in a 12-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack." So no e-CVT like Toyota HSD/GM Voltec, and I assume another clutch to disconnect the engine for around-town electric mode. Doesn't sound very promising. VW has talked about offering a range of battery sizes so they can offer hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of new models. I suspect VW's strategy and anti-electric stance is partly driven by the reality that they don't have the production or suppliers lined up for a lot of big battery packs. So Winterkorn criticizes what he can't sell in volume, even while planning to sell the E-Up and Golf Blue e-motion EVs in 2014
      RC
      • 3 Years Ago
      Nah
      tantareanujellob
      • 3 Years Ago
      Yet they still try to unload that diesel garbage on us.
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