VW has electrifying plans for America.
THE newly appointed head of Volkswagen of America, Hinrich Woebcken, has confirmed the German automaker plans to build several electric cars in North America by 2020, starting with the Buddy.
VW Group currently offers three electric cars in the VW e-Up, e-Golf and Audi R8 e-tron, as well as six plug-in hybrids: the VW Golf GTE, Passat GTE, Audi A3 Sportback e-tron, Q7 e-tron quattro, Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid and Cayenne S E-Hybrid.
Volkswagen is planning to launch over 20 additional models by 2020, including two Tesla fighters — Porsche’s Mission E electric car and the Audi e-tron quattro.
Woebcken told the Wall Street Journal that multiple models will be built in North America.
“We believe that this country, especially in urban mobility, will have a very strong shift from petrol engines into hybridisation and electric cars,” Woebcken said.
“We are heavily investing in this one,” he said.
Volkswagen’s electrification move comes just as the U.S. government and auto regulators have been negotiating with it to provide a suitable solution for nearly 500 000 over-polluting diesel cars. The automaker has agreed to allocate $15 billion for the recall or fix of two-litre cars in U.S, while the company still needs to reach a deal for large, three-litre diesel vehicles that include luxury brands of Volkswagen, Porsche and Audi.
The Wall Street Journal reported that electric-car factories in the U.S. will be an olive branch to regulators. Earlier this year, Volkswagen Group said that it wants to sell one million electrified vehicles a year worldwide by 2025 to satisfy the increasingly strict carbon-dioxide emission limits in major markets.
A brave new future: Buddy, an all-electric minibus, leads Volkswagen’s promise to have several electric models by 2020.