AutosVolkswagen bets big on plug-in hybrids as demand soars

Volkswagen bets big on plug-in hybrids as demand soars

Now plug-in hybrids can use fast charging, just like electric cars.
Now plug-in hybrids can use fast charging, just like electric cars.
Images source: © Autokult | Volkswagen AG
11:02 AM EDT, May 10, 2024

Volkswagen is shifting its focus towards plug-in hybrids capable of covering around 62 miles on a single charge. In Europe, these vehicles have seen sales growth surpassing that of electric vehicles at the start of the year.

Expanding the plug-in hybrid selection is now a main goal for Volkswagen, according to Managing Director Thomas Schäfer. It appears customers, both in the United States and in China, have shown a clear preference for plug-in hybrids.

Schäfer views the hybrid powertrain as a transitional solution bridging traditional combustion engines and fully electric vehicles. "Hybrids seemed outdated a while ago. Just last year, querying my opinion on investing in hybrid technology, I would have deemed it costly and unworthy. However, within six months, the demand for hybrids has skyrocketed," Schäfer shared with Autocar in an interview.

The company, however, is not losing sight of its ultimate ambition to completely electrify its vehicle lineup. Not every model will feature plug-in hybrid options, nor will a brand new powertrain be introduced; instead, advancements will be made on the existing 1.5 l engine model.

It's interesting to note that both Ford and Mercedes have recently adjusted their strategies in Europe, signaling an enduring role for combustion engines in their respective portfolios.

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