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Volkswagen Group plans 20 plug-ins for China

By 2020 manufacturers will be required to achieve a fleet-wide average fuel consumption target of 5.0l/100km – around 56.5mpg – based on the same NEDC-derived figures used in Europe.

In an essay published in the Group’s latest Sustainability Report, Prof. Dr. Jochem Heizmann member of the Group Board of Mangement with responsibility for China, said this was even more challenging than the 95g/km target set for European markets.

“In China only 1% of cars have a diesel engine and there is a preference for more spacious vehicles which naturally are heavier,” he wrote. “The answer to this challenge can only be a holistic approach. We have to think in terms of all possible technical solutions, including sophisticated vehicle and powertrain measures as well as alternative drive systems.”

The Group announced last year that it was kicking off the biggest emobility initiative in China’s automotive history, investing €18m to develop new models and add capacity at its factories. Last year it launched the Porsche Panamera S e-Hybrid, and the Audi A3 e-tron and Volkswagen Golf GTE are about to follow, ahead of two locally-built models in 2016.

Further models are underpinned by using a shared ‘toolkit’ for electromobility, a standardised set of parts which enables plug-in hybrid, fully electric and hydrogen fuel cell drivetrains to be integrated across the product portfolio at minimum cost – pricing being the biggest barrier at the moment, according to Heizmann.

“In the near future, we will be offering Chinese customers an impressive choice of over 20 electric vheicles, from small cars to large sedans and SUVs, from plug-in hybrids to all-electric drives. We cannot allow the electric car to be a compromise on wheels. It has to be perfect in every way – technically mature, practical, safe and affordable,” he said.

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Alex Grant

Trained on Cardiff University’s renowned Postgraduate Diploma in Motor Magazine Journalism, Alex is an award-winning motoring journalist with ten years’ experience across B2B and consumer titles. A life-long car enthusiast with a fascination for new technology and future drivetrains, he joined Fleet World in April 2011, contributing across the magazine and website portfolio and editing the EV Fleet World Website.

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