Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, chief executive officer of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, said: ‘We are starting at exactly the right time. We are electrifying all vehicle classes, and therefore have everything we need to make the Volkswagen Group the top automaker in all respects, including electric mobility, by 2018.’
By the end of 2014, the group will have 14 electrified models available across its brands, including the battery electric Volkswagen e-up! and e-Golf, the Audi A3 e-tron, and Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid and 918 Spyder.
Investment is substantial. Volkswagen invests €7bn in electromobility R&D each year, helping to bring knowledge of motors and batteries in house. It has also recruited 400 experts and trained 70,000 development, production and service employees to deal with the new technology.
Modular drivetrains, meanwhile, mean production can be varied quickly to meet demand. If this is sufficient, the group is aiming to have 40 vehicles with alternative drivetrains by 2018.
Winterkorn added: ‘The electric car cannot be a compromise on wheels, it must convince customers in every respect. From the zero-emission city car, through the plug-in hybrid all-rounder to the three-liter sports saloon: It is our customers who decide for themselves just how much e-mobility they want.’