The future drives electric. And in a sense, that means it also drives Chinese.
This is because many experts believe the most populous country in the world is becoming the leading international market and forerunner in electric mobility. The Volkswagen Group wants to take advantage of this dynamic growth on its path to becoming a sustainable mobility provider. “We will take the lead when it comes to the prevalence of electric mobility in China,” says Jochem Heizmann, member of the Board of Management.
The company is already importing a number of new energy vehicles to China: Plug-in hybrids such as the Golf GTE1) and Audi A3 e-tron2) are featured at dealers in Peking and Shanghai along with the purely battery driven e-Up3) from the Volkswagen brand. Chinese customers interested in locally made vehicles can purchase the Audi A6L e-tron4), with additional vehicles from the Volkswagen – like the PHIDEON PHEV5) that was just presented in Shanghai – and ŠKODA brands to follow.
Chinese political leaders are also facilitating the trend. They put forward new rules promoting electric drives and consumption regulations for combustion engines. “It goes without saying that each of our cars must meet legal requirements and needs to please our customers who want affordable, safe and comfortable vehicles for their everyday use,” Heizmann says.
In the next two to three years, brands from the Volkswagen Group will substantially broaden their model range and thereby offer customers a wider choice: Some 15 new locally produced vehicles are planned, including plug-in hybrids with electric and combustion engines as well as pure battery-driven vehicles. “To expand our range in the short term, we are using our existing vehicle platforms that we can deliver with different drives. This allows us to be flexible and optimally react to changes in demand,” says Christoph Ludewig, speaker of Volkswagen Group China.
A possible cooperation with Chinese maker JAC could also bear fruit shortly. “Our Supervisory Board has already approved the plan. Once we have regulatory approval, we can start making the first electric vehicle for the price-sensitive mass market,” announces Heizmann.
“We are taking steps that will enable use to produce some 1.5 million new energy vehicles a year in 2025 – in China, for China.”
For the medium term, the Group is planning electric vehicles with a completely new architecture. At the motor show in Shanghai, several brands have presented concept studies showing how such cars will look, including the I.D. CROZZ6) of the Volkswagen brand, the ŠKODA VISION E7) and the Audi e-tron Sportback8) concept.
Board of Management member Heizmann has a clear objective for China: “We are taking steps that will enable use to produce some 1.5 million new energy vehicles a year in 2025 – in China, for China.”
1) Golf GTE: Fuel consumption in l/100 km: combined 1.8-1.6; Electrical energy consumption in kWh/100 km: combined 12-11.4; CO2 emissions combined in g/km: 40-36; efficiency class: A+
2) Audi A3 Sportback e-tron: Fuel consumption according to ECE standard in l/100 km: 1.8–1.6; combined energy consumption in kWh/100 km: 12.0–11.4; combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 40–36 (Figures vary depending on wheels/tires)
3) Volkswagen e-up!: Consumption Electric power in kWh/100km, Combined 11,7 | CO2 emissions, g/km: combined 0 | Efficiency Class: A+
4) Audi A6 L e-tron: Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 6.2; Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 145
5) SAIC VOLKSWAGEN Phideon Phev: This car is not for sale in Europe and therefore guideline 1999/94/EG does not apply.
6) Volkswagen I.D. CROZZ: Concept vehicle – not subject to Directive 1999/94/EC.
7) ŠKODA VISION E: Concept vehicle – not subject to Directive 1999/94/EC.
8) Audi e-tron Sportback concept: Concept vehicle - not subject to Directive 1999/94/EC.