In a ceremony at Berlin's historic Brandenburg Gate, Volkswagen unveiled a selection of its upcoming hybrid and pure electric vehicles during an event marking the establishment of Germany's National Platform for Electric Mobility. With Chancellor Angela Merkel in attendance, the automaker presented a prototype of the Golf blue-e-motion, which will launch in 2013 along with its cousin, the Jetta blue-e-motion, and VW's nifty up! electric city car. In confirming EV versions of these high-volume models, Volkswagen AG wants to establish its intent to transition electric mobility from marginal to mainstream status -- and become the market leader for this type of sustainable mobility by 2018. The German federal government is already on record as saying it would like to see about one million electric vehicles on the roads by 2020. VW plans to have a test fleet of 500 Golf blue-e-motion vehicles on the road starting next year.
Power for the Golf/Jetta blue-e-motion variants will come from an electric motor the produces 115-horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque. The Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery pack located under the rear seat and the central tunnel will reportedly give this zero-emissions Golf a range of roughly 93 miles, a top speed of 87 mph and let it hit 60 mph in less than 11.8 seconds. VW says the move from internal-combustion to EV propulsion adds about 450 pounds to the package and cuts cargo capacity from 12.4 to 8.4 cubic feet.
Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG, also stressed that VW will continue to place emphasis on its expanding range of gas-electric models, an effort that will see a Jetta Hybrid go on sale in 2012 followed by Golf and Passat Hybrids in 2013. VW's Audi and Porsche operations also were represented at this historic event, the former by the Audi e-tron and the latter with the stunning 918 Spyder.