In March, the Volkswagen Group (VAG) announced at its annual press conference in Berlin that it will make more plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) until battery technology becomes more efficient.
For starters, Audi will offer plug-in hybrid versions of the Q7, A7 and A8, while VW will also offer plug-in versions of the Touareg and Pheaton for global markets, according to VAG CEO Martin Winterkorn. American buyers will also see the Golf GTE plug-in hybrid in the U.S. next year, said VW brand R&D boss Hans-Jakob Neusser.
In announcing more plug-in hybrids, VAG is looking to diversify its vehicle portfolio with a slew of new electrified vehicles in order to meet ever-tightening emissions regulations. Winterkorn said that the group’s adaptable platforms, like MQB and MLB, will easily allow it to fit a multitude of powertrains, including all-electric, plug-in hybrid, compressed gas and even fuel-cell, into about 40 vehicles.
“This saves a lot of money and above all means that we are extremely flexible,” said Winterkorn.
VAG will also invest $90 billion in vehicles, plants and technology through 2020. One of the things VW is currently developing is a battery technology that will allow its vehicles to achieve upwards of 300 miles on a single charge, or 30 miles more than the range of the Audi R8 e-tron.