Volkswagen To Launch All-Electric Vehicles in 2013

Volkswagen (VOW.DE) aims to roll out its first all-electric car in 2013 the company’s chief executive said Friday, according to an AFP report. 

Martin Winterkorn reportedly said the German automaker will begin with an electric version of a vehicle within its New Small Family line and extend to a much broader range within ten years, shooting for one to one-and-a-half percent of the global electric vehicle market by 2020. 

This announcement is somewhat contrary to the company’s ongoing ad campaign which touts the strength of fuel-efficient diesel engines in comparison to hybrids driven by electric motors. 

Like other German carmakers, Volkswagen has primarily focused on diesel engines, while Japanese rivals Toyota (NYSE: TM) and Honda (NYSE: HMC) grabbed the vast market share for hybrids. 

However, it appears that the German companies intend to compete for their share of the all-electric market, which will begin to make an impact in 2012. German company Daimler (NYSE: DAI) is working on an all-electric version of its SmartCar.

In May Volkswagen signed a preliminary agreement with BYD (0285.HK) of China to produce hybrid or electric cars. In February Volkswagen announced a deal with Toshiba of Japan to co-develop an electric-powered version of Volkswagen’s subcompact Up! concept car.

In May 2008, Volkswagen and Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd. (SANYY.PK) agreed to co-develop lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery systems for Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV).

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