VW’s head of development, Heinz-Jakob Neusser, says the brand has elected to launch its electric car plans with the Volkswagen e-Up as part of a far-reaching strategy in the VW Group to establish where demand for such cars lies.
Speaking at the Tokyo motor show, he said: “The Porsche 918 Spyder shows the top end, Audi’s projects the premium end – at VW we are starting from the bottom. The truth is nobody fully understands customer demand just yet.”
The firm is also enjoying impressive sales growth for its compressed natural gas models. CNG-powered cars represent up to 20 per cent of VW's monthly sales in Germany, Neusser said.
“It makes so much sense: it is cheaper than petrol, and emits 25 per cent less CO2 for the same mileage,” he said.
However, Neusser admitted the fuel still has an image issue. “Even with our dual-fuel technology, people are worried there are not enough fuel stations that stock it,” he said. “The image associations are not that positive yet, and the benefits not explained well enough, despite its obvious advantages.”