The internal combustion engine has had its glory across a myriad of scenarios. Not only did some of the most powerful vehicles in the world make use of a petrol-powered drivetrain to propel themselves to ungodly speeds, but the economy cars of the world also stuffed smaller, more efficient engines into cars to make use of practical day-to-day driving. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end as technology replaces legacy solutions. Thankfully, Volkswagen is determined to stay on the cusp of cutting-edge automotive solutions and is ready to pick up the slack where electric left off.
One of the most influential leaders in switching cars from gasoline and diesel to electric is China. Using government mandates, the country is working towards preventing non-electric vehicles from being sold in the country alongside other European countries like France. Volkswagen sees this not as a determent from selling vehicles in the country, but yet another opportunity to expand its alternative fuel offerings for the rest of the world.
The automotive giant is teaming up with Chinese government-owned automaker, JAC motors (Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group) to build a large number of electric vehicles for the Chinese domestic market over the next seven years. Volkswagen aims to build 20 new models by 2025, making it one of the more diverse offerings of EVs available worldwide. This news follows a similar path of Ford Motor Company's decision to jointly produce EVs with Zotye Auto in China.
"China is leading the way to the final breakthrough in the adoption of e-mobility and Volkswagen Group China is determined to be at the forefront," said Prof. Dr. Jochem Heizmann, a member of Volkswagen's board of management, "We are transforming the future of mobility and, in regard to the needs and demands of our customers, we will deliver."
At least 15 of the models will be based on Volkswagen's MQB platform, reports CNN, rather than its brand new MEB electric test bed. This indicates that there is a large chance that VW will be converting a sizable chunk of existing vehicle models from internal combustion to electric-drive instead of using the latest and greatest technology expected in the State-side releases of the I.D. family of EVs. The addition of the new EVs will bring Volkswagen to nearly 40 model variants sold in China alone.
Volkswagen also appears to be betting heavily on SUVs being a large seller, indicating that at least 30 percent of its planned lineup will be SUVs, and a chunk of those being fully electrified, while others are likely to incorporate a hybrid drivetrain of some sort. The automaker also plans to bring its large flagship vehicles like the Audi Q8 into the market, fulfilling the needs for electrified SUVs, as well as luxury vehicles.
With a new market emerging, Volkswagen is determined to cut into the domestic market share of China's current offerings. By using the country as a pseudo-testing grounds for its newest electrified vehicles, VW will position itself to further strengthen the technology needed to improve EV offerings all over the world, including its I.D. family of vehicles which is expected to be released by 2025.