Volkswagen leading electric charge into China

Volkswagen is continuing its aggressive march into China’s new vehicle market, this week displaying a hybrid and three electric vehicles at its 2010 E-workshop in Shanghai.
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The Volkswagen Lavida Blue-e-motion was developed entirely by Volkswagen Shanghai specifically for the Chinese market.

The zero-emission small sedan is powered by a lithium-ion battery pack and has a range of 130km to 150km. Production is set to start within the next two months.

Also on display was the Up! Blue-e-motion and the Golf Blue-e-motion, with the latter expected to hit showrooms by 2013. The Touareg Hybrid was also shown to the Shanghai audience.

The news follows an announcement by the Chinese Government at the beginning of the month that it plans to introduce a subsidy program to encourage people to purchase electric, hybrid and low-emissions vehicles.

Subsidies of up to 60,000 yuan ($10,000) would be available to owners of pure electric vehicles in five cities – Shanghai, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Hefei and Changchun – under the pilot program.

Meanwhile, it is also believed that the next-generation of Volkswagen’s Phaeton luxury sedan will be targeted specifically at China and the US after failing to find its feet in most other markets around the world.

Insiders revealed the new Phaeton will have a far less conservative appearance and is likely to increase in size.

(with Xinhua)