Leaked Docs Show Volkswagen To Launch 8 New Energy Vehicles In China – Forbes
The Volkswagen Group plans to launch eight New Energy Vehicles (NEVs) in China, according to a slide from a product presentation that has leaked onto the internet. According to the classification set up by the Chinese government NEVs include electric vehicles (EV), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and hydrogen vehicles.
Volkswagen operates two joint ventures in China; FAW-Volkswagen and Shanghai-Volkswagen. Soon they will add a third joint venture to the mix, JAC-Volkswagen, which will sell affordable electric cars under a yet unknown new brand.
Four of the new NEVs will be sold under the Volkswagen brand, two under the Audi brand, and another two under JAC-Volkswagen.
The NEVs will be based on three main platforms: MQB, MLB, and MEB. The latter is a dedicated electric car platform. The JAC-Volkswagen cars will be based on existing JAC platforms. A closer look at the eight cars:
- e-Golf, an electric variant of the Volkswagen Golf with 134hp and a 200 kilometer range. The e-Golf will hit the market later this year. Platform is MQB. The e-Golf will be the most affordable Volkswagen-branded NEV in the lineup.
- Tiguan PHEV, a plug-in hybrid version of the new Tiguan L, known as Tiguan Allspace in the United States. It will combine a 2.0 turbo with an electric motor, good for an output of about 220hp. It will launch in early 2018. Platform is MQB.
- Phideon PHEV, a plug-in hybrid version of the China-only Phideon sedan. It will get the same hybrid system as the Tiguan PHEV but it will deliver some 245 horses. The Phideon PHEV will launch late this year. Platform is MLB.
- The production version of the I.D. concept, an electric compact crossover. This is a very important car for Volkswagen because the I.D. is their first car that was developed as an electric car from the very beginning, and it will also be the first car to be based on the MEB platform. It will have around 68 horsepower and a 410 kilometer range.
The e-Golf will be made by the FAW-Volkswagen joint venture, the Tiguan and Phideon PHEVs by the Shanghai-Volkswagen joint venture. Who will make the I.D. is yet unclear.
- A6L e-tron, a plug-in hybrid variant of the China-only Audi A6L sedan, which is a long-wheelbase version of the Audi A6L. The e-tron will be launched on the Chinese car market in the first quarter. It will get the same hybrid system as the Phideon PHEV. Platform: MLB.
- Q6 e-tron quattro, the production version of the E-Tron Quattro Concept. It will hit the market in late 2018, with just under 500 horsepower on tap. The E-Tron Quattro stands on a modified variant of the MLB platform that also underpins the Tiguan L and the Audi Q5.
Both the A6L e-tron and the Q6 e-tron quattro will be made by FAW-Volkswagen.
There are two cars under development; a compact SUV based on the JAC iEV6S and a small sedan, likely to be based on the JAC iEV5. The name of the new brand will be unveiled on the Shanghai Auto Show in April and the first car will hit the market in 2018.
The iEV6S was launched on the Chinese car market in early 2016. It has a 114hp electric motor and a range of 253 kilometers. The iEV5 is one of China’s most popular compact electric sedans. It costs only 85,600 yuan ($12,450), and for that you will get 68 horsepower and a 200 kilometer range. Quality is far from Volkswagen levels but they are solid well-engineered cars.
Volkswagen is in full attack mode in the largest new-energy market in the world. With the eight new NEVs they will cover a large part of the booming market with the JAC-based cars at the bottom and the Audis at the top. What is still missing in the plans is an electric MPV, a fast growing market segment in China, but that seems to be coming too.
Happily, the Volkswagen brand isn’t very tainted by the diesel scandal because Volkswagen never sold much diesel here, so for Chinese customers the sudden move into electrics feels sensible instead of forced, like in the rest of the world.
However, the competition won’t let Volkswagen have the NEV market all for itself. Mercedes-Benz has announced it will make EVs in China, and General Motors will soon launch the Buick Velite, a sporty PHEV based on the Chevrolet Volt.
Let the NEV wars begin!