China has launched an all-out incentive assault to get electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles on its roads. Volkswagen plans to be a top contender for Chinese EV incentives with the launch of 20 different battery-powered vehicles by 2018, according to a report from Reuters.
“In the near future, Volkswagen will be offering Chinese drivers over 20 new energy vehicles, from small cars to large-sized SUVs, from plug-in hybrids to pure electric cars,” Jochem Heizmann, head of Volkswagen China, said in Shanghai.
Volkswagen is one of the world’s foremost automakers, and with China poised to be the largest car market by a wide margin, as goes China so goes Volkswagen. The Chinese government has set an ambitious goal of 5 million plug-in cars on the road by 2020, and Volkswagen thinks it has what it takes to make up a big chunk of those sales.
In addition to a $16 billion EV charging infrastructure investment, China is offering big time tax incentives to the buyers of electric cars, while simultaneously punishing automakers that fail to meet fuel economy standards. For Volkswagen, the vanguard of their plug-in offensive will be the e-Up, the e-Golf, and the Golf GTE plug-in hybrid. That just leaves another 17 vehicles Volkswagen has to launch in the next 5 years, though I’m wondering if Heizmann’s comments don’t include other Volkswagen-owned brands like Audi and Porsche. Both of these automakers are planning plug-in initiatives of their own, especially in China in order to take advtange of the generous incentives.
With China poised to become the world’s largest economy in every meaningful way, and Volkswagen making electrification a cornerstone of its Chinese strategy, the future of plug-in cars is looking brighter than ever.