The Volkswagen Group plans to electrify more than 40 models over the next few years. Speaking at the Geneva Motor Show, VW Chairman Dr. Martin Winterkorn said that Europe’s largest automaker has increased its R&D expenditure to the record value of €10.2 billion, with the lion’s share going to “green” technologies.
VW’s modular Baukästen (assembly kits such as the MQB, MLB or MSB) make it possible to produce high-volume models with a range of powertrains, as VW is now doing with the super-popular Golf.
“Our modular toolkits place us in a position to develop and build our cars faster, more flexibly and more economically than in the past,” said Winterkorn. “We can offer even greater variety – as well as producing niche models in a profitable way. Our toolkits also mean that we can offer all our innovations and powertrains in all segments and markets within a very short space of time.”
The Golf GTE and Audi A3 Sportback e-tron plug-in hybrids are the latest additions to the Group’s range of electrified vehicles, which also includes the e-up!, eGolf and Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid. A plug-in hybrid version of the VW Passat is to follow “soon,” promised Winterkorn.
VW is also improving sustainability all along the value stream. “We are taking great strides towards our goal of making our factories 25 percent more eco-friendly. Specifically, we aim to reduce energy and water consumption, as well as CO2 emissions, by 25 percent by 2018,” said Winterkorn, adding that a “life cycle assessment” – a sort of balance sheet indicating the environmental impact of a vehicle over its entire life cycle, would be produced for more and more models.
Source: Volkswagen Group