Volkswagen Group: 20 Plug-In Electric Models Planned For China Within Next Few Years


VW Cross Coupe GTE From NAIAS 2015

VW Cross Coupe GTE From NAIAS 2015

Volkswagen Passat GTE Variant and Volkswagen Passat GTE

Volkswagen Passat GTE Variant and Volkswagen Passat GTE


Despite Tesla’s well documented struggles in selling electric cars in China, Volkswagen group is moving forward with its plug-in plans for the Chinese market.

According to Forbes, Volkswagen Group is turning its attention more and more to China and to low or zero emission cars in an effort to surpass Toyota as the world’s #1 automaker in sales:

“The group has accelerated investment in cleaner and low emission technologies, in a bid to launch more environmentally viable cars in the future. In China, Volkswagen’s single largest market, the company is looking to launch over twenty electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles over the next few years, ranging from small-sized cars to large SUVs. The luxury vehicle division, Audi, which forms a fifth of the automaker’s valuation by our estimates, plans to step-up investment by 2 billion euros ($2.44 billion) to a record 24 billion euros over the next five years, of which approximately 70% will be in new cleaner technologies such as plug-in hybrid vehicles.”

20 plug-in electric vehicles over the “next few years.”  If accomplished, that’s impressive.

But (there’s always a but, right?) Volkswagen Group consists of several brands (Volkswagen, Skoda, Audi, Porsche, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, commercial vehicle brands Scania and MAN and so on), so this could mean we’ll only see one or two plug-ins per brand/division.

Forbes adds:

“By accelerating investments, the German car company hopes to gain momentum in the plug-in electric vehicle space, which is estimated to grow at a CAGR of almost 25% through 2023, outpacing the expected 2.6% annual growth for the overall light-duty vehicle market. Apart from China, which is the most important market for Volkswagen volume-wise, the automaker’s push for PEV growth is evident in the U.S., the world’s largest PEV market, and which grew by 22.8% last year to almost 120,000 units.”

Source: Forbes

Categories: Volkswagen


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9 Comments on "Volkswagen Group: 20 Plug-In Electric Models Planned For China Within Next Few Years"

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Safety standards in China are much lower, and low-speed NEVs (Neighborhood Electric Vehicles) are a large segment of the plug-in EV market. Cars aimed specifically at the Chinese market may not be highway-capable, and may not be street-legal in Europe, the USA, or British Commonwealth countries.

That’s not at all to say that VW can’t make a profit in China, but cars developed specifically for China are not likely to interest drivers in first-world countries.

So, you’re saying VW is committed to making a wide range of electrified death traps for the Chinese Transportation Market? 😉

Thankfully the VW group will have more than 20 new plugin models for the EU market within the next 5 years too.

All highway capable and street legal.

Safer for who? I am willing to bet that SUV and sports car drivers kill more people in the city by driving into them than are killed in a car crashes in the city where and extra air bag or role cage would help . City driving is slow, why drive in an Asian mega-city in a highway capable car? For that matter, why drive in London in a highway capable car?

I think I would just like to go on the record in saying that I would rather that our cities (east or west) were filled with tiny little EV’s with a top speed of 30 mph than clogged with massive 5 ton SUV’s or plugin hybrids that can thunder down the freeway or autobahn at 70 mph+.

Some of them don’t look like such a bad way to get to work.

“cars developed specifically for China” are interesting drivers in South America, Russia and Eastern Europe, etc. (Plus China itself outbuying the US, and Europe.) You know, the BRIC countries that are leading global growth. The “other three billion.” The opportunity of the 21st Century for those without 20th-Century blinders on.

Or maybe you don’t.

Baby steps…baby steps. I think those steps will increase in size after Model 3 hits the streets.

For now, it’s add a couple kwhs here and a couple there to stuff in the trunk of production ICE vehicles.

VW’s plans to electrify its offerings in China dovetails nicely with BYD’s recently announced plans to expand its battery production capacity in China to match the 34 GWh capacity of Tesla’s Gigfactory by 2020. With that scale of production, the cost of battery cells should fall by a similar percentage/amount as Tesla predicts for its Gigafactory produced batteries.

The question now becomes: will VW and other automakers buy BYD’s low-cost batteries for their BEVs/PHEVs when BYD is also an automaker and their direct competitor in the Chinese market for electric cars?

We’ve already been there… I will believe it when I see it.


I’m happy that China is pushing EVs hard. If they can get their people into EVs AND close down lots of coal plants (by moving to solar PV, wind, nuclear, and natural gas), then that will do A LOT to clean up their air and reduce CO2 emissions.

The USA needs to do the same.