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Paris Motor Show Brings Big Launches – But Key Carmakers Absent

Battery-cars, exotics and everything in-between spotlighted in the City of Lights.

by on Sep.28, 2016

The battery-powered Opel Ampera-e will be one of the Paris Motor Show highlights.

The 2017 auto show season officially gets underway this week with a media preview of the Paris Motor Show, one of the industry’s biggest and most widely watched events.

The show will spotlight a number of major debuts from manufacturers like Audi, BMW, Land Rover and France’s own Peugeot and Citroen. There also be plenty of green news, General Motors’ German-based Opel unveiling the long-range Ampera-e battery car and arch-rival Volkswagen expected to reveal its own, long-range EV.

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But this year’s Paris Motor Show also will be significant for what – and who – is not on hand. A variety of manufacturers and senior industry executives have decided to skip the events in the City of Lights, a move that reflects the growing industry concern about the high cost of major auto shows.


Volkswagen Reportedly Planning Phase-Out of 40 Car Models

But 30 new battery-cars are also on the way.

by on Jun.20, 2016

The VW Eos never met sales targets.

Volkswagen will phase out more than 40 of its current passenger-car models over the next few years, part of a broad strategy that also will see it introduce at least 30 battery-based vehicles by 2025.

The maker confirmed it will launch a heavy push into electric vehicles last week, but has not officially confirmed the report by German newspaper Handelsblatt that it will drop around 12% of the total line-up of the Volkswagen Group.

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The reported move would reflect VW’s decision to move away from the high-mileage diesels that have long propped up its line-up in favor of more advanced, battery-based technologies. That comes as no surprise to industry observers who believe the auto industry, as a whole, will have to adopt new, zero-emissions technologies to meet strict new global mileage and clean air mandates.


All New German Cars Must Be Emission-Free by 2030

Government hopes to boost lagging demand with new incentives.

by on Jun.20, 2016

The shape of things to come? A prototype of Porsche's Mission E battery-electric vehicle.

It may be the home of the Autobahn, with its largely unlimited speeds, but in little more than a decade, German motorists will have to manage both those highways and local roads driving zero-emission vehicles, according to a senior government official. All new vehicles registered after that date will need run on batteries or hydrogen.

While a number of countries, including the U.S., are taking steps to increase the use of battery and other alternative powertrain technologies, Germany is laying out plans for an aggressive shift away from gasoline and diesel, said Deputy Economy Minister Rainer Baake, speaking at climate forum sponsored by the Tagesspiegel newspaper in Berlin.

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“Fact is there’s been no reduction at all in CO2 emissions by transport since 1990,” said Baake. “We don’t have any answers to cut truck emissions right now but we do have answers for cars.”


Volkswagen, Audi Expect to “Electrify” Entire Line-Up

Conventional gas models could be dropped in favor of hybrids, plug-ins, battery-electric vehicles.

by on Sep.16, 2015

The Audi e-tron Quattro SUV Concept will be followed by a production model around 2018.

Long focused on high-mileage diesels, Volkswagen and its luxury arm Audi are suddenly getting charged up about battery power. So much so, in fact, that virtually all of the vehicles sold by both the mainstream VW and high-line Audi brands will offer some form of “electrified” options in the near future.

The German brands may even start dropping some conventional gas and diesel models in favor of hybrids, plug-ins and pure battery-electric vehicles, officials noted during a series of interviews at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Even sibling brands Bentley and Porsche are getting into the battery act, the former planning a new plug-in SUV, and the sports carmaker coming to Frankfurt with a 600-horsepower performance model.

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“Every car will be electrified,” said Ulrich Hackenberg, the board member overseeing technical development at Audi. And while new fuel economy and emissions mandates are factors driving the shift, he also believes that consumers will find the next generation of electrified vehicles attractive and compelling.


VW Going Electric at Detroit Auto Show

German maker to unveil Passat hybrid and a new battery car.

by on Dec.14, 2011

Volkswagen will reveal a new hybrid version of the Passat sedan during the Detroit Auto Show.

Volkswagen hopes to charge into the upcoming Detroit Auto Show with a pair of battery-based vehicles including a new hybrid version of its hot-selling Passat sedan.

The German maker is better known for its commitment to diesel technology, so-called “oil burners” accounting for as much as a third of the sales of some of its U.S. models.  But to win over the growing “green car” segment, both here and abroad, VW has been putting a bigger emphasis on electric propulsion.

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The arrival of a Passat hybrid would follow the launch of the maker’s first gas-electric model, the Touareg Hybrid, last year.  The newer offering is due to market by November as a 2013 model.

As for the battery-electric vehicle that Volkswagen plans to show in Detroit the maker isn’t ready to release details beyond saying the small zero-emissions vehicle will not be the same E-Up model that it first revealed during the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2009.