Volkswagen CEO Dr. Martin Winterkorn delivered a speech in Münich on Friday where he announced that the German giant would release its first electric car in 2013. Among the points that Winterkorn emphasized was the race to electrification would be a marathon not a sprint. He also acknowledged that electrics alone won’t be enough to meet all needs so VW is following a number of different technology paths. Winterkorn also warns against “electro-hype” which could raise unreasonably high expectations among consumers. Even in Germany, where consumers are considered to be better informed than in the U.S., surveys indicate that one in eight buyers think EVs are already here.
Winterkorn says that current battery technology is inadequate for the task. Referring to the 150 lb, 1.7 kWh NiMH battery for the upcoming Touareg hybrid, it has the energy equivalent of just 1.86 fl.oz of gasoline. Even lithium batteries still need work to get the cost and weight to a production viable point.
The first VW EV that arrives in 2013 will be based on the “New Small Family” derived from the up! concepts of 2007. As the decade wears on, VW plans to have a range of affordable EVs in its lineup. In addition to the EVs, Volkswagen will be introducing hybrids with and without plugs and Winterkorn expects gas and diesel engines to continue to be developed for another 15-20 years. Read Winterkorn’s Google-translated speech after the jump.
Gallery: LA 2007: Volkswagen space up! blue
CEO Winterkorn: expect first VW electric vehicle in 2013 originally appeared on AutoblogGreen on Sat, 04 Jul 2009 19:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.