Volkswagen
will start making electric vehicles in China in 2014 and will reach full EV-production capacity four years later, Reuters is reporting, citing VW China operations chief Karl-Thomas Neumann, who was speaking at a Beijing convention.

The German automaker, which has partnerships with China's FAW Group and SAIC Motor Corp., will also debut its first plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle in China in 2015. Neumann said EVs are "desperately needed" in China, the wire service said.

VW is banking on EV demand from a country expected to eventually overtake both the U.S. and Europe when it comes to electric-vehicle demand. Green research firm Pike Research said last year that Asia-Pacific will account for about 617,000 annual sales within five years, almost the number annually sold in North America by that time.

China is VW's largest market, accounting for more than a quarter of the automaker's vehicle sales in 2011. Last year, VW sold 2.26 million vehicles in China, up 18 percent from a year earlier.

In September, China Car Times reported that Volkswagen's Shanghai unit will launch an electric vehicle-only sub-brand with called Tantos, whose first EV model will be the E-Lavida. VW reportedly will likely have another EV-only badge called Kai-Li.


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  • 21 Comments
      markkiernan
      • 2 Years Ago
      I love how the way these German automakers (VW, Audi, BMW etc) love to trash EVs but then go ahead and build them in China and sell them only there.
      Breconeer
      • 2 Years Ago
      And yesterday, in the presence of the new chinese leader on his visit to the USA, Smith Electric Vehicles signed a massive joint venture with Wanxiang, which is a huge supplier of vehicle components (they employ 6000 workers in the US alone) to build and sell electric school buses and trucks in China, where demand for them outstrips US and Europe put together. It's a deal which also brings economies of scale to Smith's US operations, where ceo Bryan Hansel interviewed last night says it will knock two years off the payback time for its Newton electric trucks built and sold in the US.
        DaveMart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Breconeer
        Hi Breconeer! Do you have a link to the interview? I haven't had any luck tracking it down. I like to bookmark such things.
          Breconeer
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          Hi DaveMart, Having attempted to revive the link relating Hansel's comment to the China deal, it has been edited to exclude it, as the reporter had apprently mixed two stories. The story in which Hansel is quoted as saying two years would be shaved off payback time was the one about Obama's increased subsidy, not the China deal. See http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/17/2013-budget-would-increase-alternative-powertrain-tax-credit-to-10000/
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          Hi. Thanks. This seems to be the bit the reporter got confused about: 'Although the joint venture won’t add to Smith Electric’s Kansas City production, it will boost the company’s competitiveness here, Hansel said. “The volume (of potential business) that is available in China is very meaningful. And because we’re using common components that drives the cost down of every vehicle we build worldwide,” Hansel said.' http://www.kansascity.com/2012/02/17/3435732/smith-electric-targets-china-market.html
        DaveMart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Breconeer
        http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/02/smith-20120217.html
        Nick
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Breconeer
        Great news for Smith !
        marcopolo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Breconeer
        @Breconeer Allways good news from Smith Electric Vehicles!
      • 2 Years Ago
      nice info,,keep posting http://www.centplay.com/affiliate/home_1161/
      russellbgeister
      • 2 Years Ago
      i wont be surprised if the chinese government isn't the 1st to actually ban ice engines in the near future they have terribale air pollution problems
        Spec
        • 29 Minutes Ago
        @russellbgeister
        They are now the #1 ICE engine builder. They have never shown much interest in air quality. Only recently as their population gained a small amount of wealth have they started to address the issue. And they really need to because the coal soot is horrendous.
          russellbgeister
          • 29 Minutes Ago
          @Spec
          your dead right there and the noise pollution must be shocking too
          DaveMart
          • 29 Minutes Ago
          @Spec
          Typically pollution rises with per capita income up to a certain level, and thereafter greater concern is shown and money put towards it until the level declines substantially at very high levels such as in Scandinavia. China is just reaching the part of the curve where they are likely to put a lot of effort and money into abating it, and their very high level of investment means that it can be done very quickly indeed.
        Spec
        • 29 Minutes Ago
        @russellbgeister
        They are now the #1 ICE engine builder. They have never shown much interest in air quality. Only recently as their population gained a small amount of wealth have they started to address the issue. And they really need to because the coal soot is horrendous.
      winc06
      • 2 Years Ago
      Weird look. Odd that VW who is making some of the more attractive cars on the planet would turn this out for China. Kind of like a Coda with a VW grill. Does the market demand ugly cars?
        Dave
        • 2 Years Ago
        @winc06
        Its not bad looking. But the wheels dont match the car IMHO.
        imoore
        • 2 Years Ago
        @winc06
        Yes, it does look like a Coda. So VW is copying Chinese designs, huh? Will China sue?
        Ryan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @winc06
        What is weird about that? It looks pretty normal to me. It might not be 'cool' like a Tesla Roadster, but it plays well to the practical middle class society that takes kids around town, goes to the store, and then runs other errands.
        DaveMart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @winc06
        They seem to be selling very well, so presumably VW has simply worked out the look the Chinese prefer.
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