VW confirms debut for plug-in hybrids

VW confirms debut for plug-in hybrids

Volkswagen is on track to introduce the first of its alternative-energy vehicles to the global market by 2014, the German carmaker has confirmed.

Volkswagen boss Dr Martin Winterkorn said that the company's first plug-in hybrid would hit the road in either 2013 or 2014, paving the way for a full range of hybrid and electric vehicles.

“The electric car will impact the future of individual mobility in crucial ways – and Volkswagen is spearheading this technology,” Dr Winterkorn said.

“Over the mid-term, the plug-in hybrid offers great potential, because it combines the best of two worlds in one vehicle.”

Dr Winterkorn's comments today follow a similar announcement in July last year, promising a range of electric and hybrid vehicles by 2013.

It is unclear which of its existing models will be the first to debut in plug-in hybrid form, although it is likely that the Golf and Passat models will be first to benefit from the technology.

In 2008, Volkswagen revealed an updated version of the Golf TwinDrive hybrid, combining a traditional diesel engine with an electric motor - the latter doing the bulk of the work.

Volkswagen has also revealed its plans on the electric front, most recently in the form of the Golf Blue-e-Motion EV. Powered by an electric motor, the Golf Blue-e-Motion offers 85kW of power and 270Nm of torque.

By comparison, the entry-level diesel Golf 77TDI produces 77kW and 250Nm of torque, while the petrol-powered Golf 90TSI produces 90kW and 200Nm.

A market date for the electric Golf has still to be confirmed, although Volkswagen has launched a pilot programme with 500 hand-picked consumers throughout Europe.

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