is two-pronging its approach to alt-fuel vehicles by expanding its stable of plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles (PHEVs) starting in 2014 while continuing to boost its push for more sales of its clean-diesel vehicles.

Europe's largest automaker is adding PHEV versions of the Porsche Panamera and 918 Spyder to the electric-drive vehicles set to debut in 2014, Reuters reports, citing an interview with VW electric-car head Rudolf Krebs.

VW, which will also start selling PHEV versions of the Golf, Passat and Audi Q7 SUV in 2014, will spend a "considerable" percentage of its $9.13 billion annual research and development budget on electric-drive advancements.

VW started selling its first hybrid, a gas-electric version of the Touareg SUV, in 2010, 13 years after Toyota introduced the Prius. But the company is looking to take advantage of what IHG Automotive says will be an eightfold annual increase in PHEV sales between 2013 and 2018.

Volkswagen was among the group of large German automakers that recently launched the "Clean Diesel. Clearly Better" campaign to push for clean-diesel sales in the US. Diesels account for more than half the new car sales in Europe, though less than three percent in the States.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      Please stop calling Diesel clean - it's not, no matter how much the manufacturer's PR guys tell you it is. Go stay in central london for a bit and breathe in all the diesel fumes first before writing that Diesel is clean.
        • 2 Years Ago
        Yeah it's a ridiculous scam they try to pull on Americans. Anyone visiting Europe can attest, diesel sucks.
      • 2 Years Ago
      They can't "expand" their offerings until they have an offering.
        • 2 Years Ago
        Yeah how about stopping the vaporware to start with?
      • 2 Years Ago
      GM and Ford had better watch their laurels: 'The MkVII Volkswagen Golf will be available with hybrid power – a first for the Golf. And we’ve driven a prototype of the plug-in. It’s based on the current three-door model, and featured a 1.4-litre TSI turbo petrol engine, boosted by an 80Kw electric motor. It also had a lithium-ion battery that can be topped up from the mains. On the move, the plug-in Golf is very impressive indeed. Under most driving conditions it’s effectively an electric car – and you really need to press very hard on the throttle for the petrol engine to cut in at all. In town, it’s fast enough for you to breeze through traffic. Plus, the motor is so powerful, the engine is barely used on high-speed roads. VW says the Golf will have an electric-only range of around 30 miles and should be able to return 141mpg with overall CO2 emissions as low as 46g/km. The new MQB platform will also allow designers to mount the battery and electric motor in a way that doesn’t encroach on passenger or luggage space. Key specs * Price: £25,000 (est) * Engine: 1.4-litre turbo 4cyl petrol, plus 80kw electric motor * Transmission: Six-speed twin-clutch auto, front-wheel drive * 0-62/top speed: 9.0 seconds/125mph * Economy/CO2: 141mpg/46g/km * Equipment: Plug-in point, charge gauge on dash, electric mode Read more: The big thing is that none of the cars based on this platform will have intrusions into the passenger and load space.
        • 2 Years Ago
        Sounds like a decent volt competitor. If GM rolls out v2.0 and cuts costs they should be able to maintain their market lead, but its good for consumers to have more options.
          • 2 Years Ago
          The Audi A3 plug in is supposed to be the first VW group one to go to the States: The VW group has taken an entirely different development path to the US companies, or Nissan and Toyota for that matter. What they have developed first is a platform which can handle a number of different power sources, not just electric or plug in, but natural gas and still look the same as the regular model, unlike the Toyota Prius's, but similar to Toyota's new efforts to hybridise other models. This means that there are none of the compromises inherent in Ford, and to some extent GM's, efforts to simply adapt existing ICE platforms. Of course, unlike Nissan they have not bet big on BEV, although they will have the E-Up and E-Golf for sale. For batteries they are intending to source from China, to hold down cost, and appear to be still looking at a number of alternatives for chemistry and supplier. Having studied Nissan's travails in Arizona, it seems unlikely that they will either use the same chemistry as them or suffer from the same heat problems of degradation.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Thou obviously doesn't know what you speak of.