VW to roll out elec­tric trucks, buses

Muscat Daily - - BUSINESS -

Ham­burg, Ger­many - Volk­swa­gen AG (VW) is flank­ing its push into elec­tric cars with plans to roll out bat­tery-pow­ered com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles tar­geted at ur­ban ar­eas as grow­ing pub­lic con­cerns about air qual­ity boost de­mand.

The Volk­swa­gen Truck & Bus di­vi­sion will in­vest € 1.4bn in new tech­nol­ogy in­clud­ing elec­tric driv­e­trains, au­tonomous sys­tems and cloud-based soft­ware, An­dreas Ren­schler, head of the unit, said on Wed­nes­day in an in­ter­view in Ham­burg. The Ger­man com­pany’s US af­fil­i­ate Nav­is­tar In­ter­na­tional Corp will adopt some of the sys­tems, while the car­maker’s MAN and Sca­nia name­plates will both de­liver wholly elec­tric buses next year to Euro­pean cities, adding to biodiesel, hy­brid sys­tems and nat­u­ral-gas line-ups.

“We be­lieve in a wide range of al­ter­na­tive pow­er­trains and fu­els, de­pend­ing on lo­cal avail­abil­ity, so­cial and lo­cal de­mand and cus­tomer re­quire­ments,” Ren­schler said at a press event. ‘There­fore it is cru­cial that pol­icy mak­ers adopt a tech­nol­ogy-neu­tral ap­proach’ in any reg­u­la­tions.

Elec­tric trucks for lo­cal de­liv­er­ies will prob­a­bly ex­ceed a five per cent mar­ket share by 2025, ac­cord­ing to Ren­schler. That com­pares to a forecast of about 25 per cent for bat­tery-pow­ered cars.

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