VW says that goal is reachable as long as plug-in hybrid vehicles are counted in the "electric vehicle" mix, Bloomberg News reports, citing comments from VW CEO Martin Winterkorn at a recent panel discussion in Germany. VW plans to start selling 14 electric-vehicle and plug-in hybrid models in Europe by the end of next year and last month showed off electric versions of the Golf sedan and Up! city car at the Frankfurt Auto Show.
Executives from German automakers such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz have squawked about the challenges of meeting stricter emissions standards set for 2020 by the European Union, though those companies' cars tend to skew more towards the heavier, luxury variety than Volkswagen. Still, like VW, both of those companies have plans to soon expand their stable of EVs and plug-in hybrids, most notably with BMW's soon-to-debut i3. Plug-in vehicle sales in Germany doubled last year, albeit to just 4,157 vehicles, Bloomberg says, citing the automotive industry association VDA.