VW has elec­tri­fy­ing plans for Amer­ica.

The Witness - Wheels - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

PHOTO: VW

A brave new fu­ture: Buddy, an all-elec­tric minibus, leads Volk­swa­gen’s prom­ise to have sev­eral elec­tric mod­els by 2020.

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