Thursday, July 29, 2010

Diesel Lovin' VW Reveals Aggressive Hybrid Vehicle Plan

By Larry E. Hall

VW Touareg Hybrid

Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid

Volkswagen, along with other European auto companies, has long proclaimed diesels as a better green strategy than hybridization. True, diesels are efficient and practical, but in the U.S., they have a reputation of being noisy and smelly. VW has worked hard to overcome that image with cars like the Jetta TDI but now are apparently changing direction (although they still like diesels).

During a press conference last week at its Electronics Research Lab in Palo Alto, California, Volkswagen chairman Dr. Martin Winterkorn repeated the company's electrified slogan: �SIn the future, the heart of Volkswagen will also beat with electricity.⬝ And in an opaque reference to the original Beetle, Winterkorn told the gathered media that �SVolkswagen is working on the electric car for everyone.⬝ (We'll report on VW's electric car strategy on later today.) He added that hybrid and electric vehicles will account for three percent of the German carmaker's global sales by 2018.

The Roadmap

Winterkorn concluded his remarks by laying out the company's roadmap for hybrid and electric vehicle introductions into the United States. First up is the 2011 Touareg Hybrid, which launches later this year.

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