The goal of having over one million electric vehicles on the roads of Germany within the decade is an achievable one, according to Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn. At a recent panel discussion in the northern European country, the noted CEO stated that VW was committed to the ambitious goal set by the German government and would do it’s part in helping to achieve it.
There is a catch, though — Winterkorn thinks that plug-in hybrid vehicles should count towards that goal — not just fully electric vehicles. While PHEVs are certainly a big improvement of gas-mobiles, they simply don’t do as much to help limit carbon emissions and to move away from fossil fuel dependency, as fully electric vehicles do. By including PHEVs, the ambitious goal would end up relatively watered down — though, perhaps including PHEVs would be a net positive anyway? They are a vast improvement over gasmobiles and conventional hybrids.
Volkswagen is currently planning on having at least 14 electric vehicle and plug-in hybrid vehicle models available in Europe by the end of next year — including an electric version of the Golf sedan and the Up! city car. A number of other notable German automakers, such as BMW, have begun to make moves into the EV market. BMW’s first designed-from-the-ground-up EV model, the i3, is being released in Germany later this month.
Autoblog Green has more: “Executives from German automakers such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz have squawked about the challenges of meeting stricter emissions standards set for 2020 by the European Union, though those companies’ cars tend to skew more towards the heavier, luxury variety than Volkswagen. Still, like VW, both of those companies have plans to soon expand their stable of EVs and plug-in hybrids, most notably with BMW’s soon-to-debut i3. Plug-in vehicle sales in Germany doubled last year, albeit to just 4,157 vehicles, Bloomberg says, citing the automotive industry association VDA.”
On a related note — despite the seemingly huge market in Germany, sales of Tesla’s Model S have been rather low in the country. It’ll be interesting to see if Tesla can make the necessary adjustments in strategy and crack that market.