Volkswagen jumped on the plug-in bandwagon and will produce a range of plug-in hybrid vehicles starting in 2013. Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn made the announcement at the Vienna Motor Symposium this week, but he didn't specify which vehicles will get the plug-in power-train.
"The plug-in hybrid offers precisely what many customers expect: unlimited internal combustion engine performance combined with attractive electric mobility ranges in everyday driving," Winterkorn said. The company acknowledges that electric vehicles will play a large role in the automotive future, but finds plug-ins to be a happy medium until infrastructure, technology, and consumers make pure EVs a viable option.
Earlier this year, the German auto manufacturer debuted the XL1 concept plug-in car at an auto show in Qatar. Based on the L1 concept, the gullwinged tandem two-seater has a carbon fiber chassis and is powered by a 48-horsepower two-cylinder TDI engine and an electric motor that produces 27 hp. The lightweight aerodynamic vehicle reportedly achieves up to 260 mpg.
VW will begin limited series production of 100 XL1s in 2013, said Winterkorn in an interview with Automotive New Europe. Germany will be the first country to receive the XL1, followed by the U.S. and China at a later date.