FRANKFURT: The future belongs to electric cars because of high fuel prices and environmental considerations, the head of the biggest European carmaker, VW, said on Monday.
“In the next few years, we are not going to do without petrol and diesel motors, but the future belongs to the electric car,” VW chairman Martin Winterkorn told the mass-circulation German newspaper Bild-Zeitung.
“My goal is to produce a Golf which consumes three-four litres per 100 kilometers,” compared with 4.3 litres (54.7 miles per gallon) currently for the most fuel-efficient version of VW’s popular compact model. Automobile manufacturers which face stricter standards for carbon dioxide emissions and climbing oil prices are working hard to develop cleaner, more economical vehicles.
Electric or hybrid electric/petrol motors have been criticised in the past but appear set to power a new generation of vehicles, and VW has agreed with the Japanese group Sanyo to cooperate in the field of lithium-ion batteries.
Winterkorn said that German carmakers, which produce many larger, more powerful vehicles, could reach a mooted CO2 emissions target of 120 grammes per km by 2015.
The European Union has suggested a deadline of 2012 for hitting the target, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy said last week they had reached a compromise on the issue that could be presented to the full 27-member EU.
The VW head told Bild-Zeitung: “I am globally satisfied with what Mrs. Merkel obtained” following tough talks that might result in an extension of the 2012 deadline.
Germany and France are home to some of the leading European auto manufacturers, and a deal acceptable to both might also be agreed to by other EU members. Afp