While General Motors is furiously preparing for the Chevy Volt, and Nissan is readying its Leaf, other car companies are still focusing on bringing hybrid vehicles to market. One such company is Volkswagen. Volkswagen’s relatively late entry into the hybrid vehicle market is not a bad mark on VW’s record as the company’s TDI clean diesel lineup has received numerous green car awards. However, the company is now diversifying its fuel-efficient lineup and recently announced plans for an electrified car future.
Later this year, VW will bring its first hybrid vehicle to market when the VW Touareg Hybrid goes on sale. The Touareg Hybrid was revealed at this year’s Geneva Motor and will feature a V6 gasoline engine and electric motor that will be about 40 percent more efficient than its non-hybrid counterpart.
VW’s next foray into the hybrid market will be the release of a Jetta Hybrid in 2012. Volkswagen has had much success with its Jetta TDI, earning Green Car of the Year accolades from the Green Car Journal in 2008 for the vehicle’s 2009 model. The vehicle was up against some stiff competition including the well-received Ford Fusion Hybrid and the popular and fuel-efficient Smart Fortwo.
Once VW has two hybrid production vehicles under its belt, the company plans to enter the all-electric market with a new vehicle scheduled for release in 2013. Specifics about VWs electric vehicle are still unknown, but Dr. Martin Winterkorn, chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG, said it would likely be the E-Up! or Golf blue e-motion that gets VW’s electrified attention.
Winterkorn discussed VW’s hybrid and electric car future during a tour of the company’s Electronic Research Laboratory (ERL) in Silicon Valley.
“In the future, the heart of Volkswagen will also beat with electricity, and our engineers in America, Europe and Asia are laying the foundations for that in the research alliance. Volkswagen will be the automaker that will offer the electric car attainable for every customer.” Source: Volkswagen
Winterkorn may be on to something with his last statement, the production of an electric vehicle “attainable for every customer.” The Nissan Leaf comes with an MSRP of $32,780 before the federal tax credit and GM is being super secret about pricing on the Chevy Volt. Guesstimates are that the Volt will be priced well into the $30,000+ range. Even with a $7,500 tax credit, a $25,000 car is not attainable for every customer. Will we see a sub $20,000 VW electric vehicle hit the streets of America in 2013? One can only hope.