VW believes it can be a battery-powered leader

VW is already a leader in clean diesel technology, but the automaker believes it will soon also become a leader in hybrid and electric vehicle technology.

The VW UP! at the LA Auto Show

Changing its hybrid tune

While VW is better known for making fun of hybrid cars rather than building any type of battery-powered vehicle, the automaker plans a serious uptick in hybrid and EV production over the next several years. In fact, CEO Martin Winterkorn believes VW can “play a key role” in the electrification of the auto industry.

VW's electric vehicle plans begin with the VW Touareg hybrid, followed by the Jetta hybrid in 2012 and the Golf and Passat hybrids a year later. Also in 2013, VW will start E-Golf and E-Up! sales.

Likewise VW's other brands will also join the battery-powered party. For instance, Audi will start selling the Q5 hybrid later this year, and the e-tron in 2012, and Porsche is working on the Cayenne and the 918 Spider hybrids.

“We are witnessing a turning point in technology, as we are moving away from oil, towards zero-emission mobility.” Nonetheless, Wintercorn acknowledged that batteries must get smaller, lighter and cheaper before widespread consumer interest is achieved.

Still, some real VW hybrid and electric cars will be far more compelling than commercials making fun of hybrids.

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