German auto maker Volkswagen is planning to introduce its first all-electric car in 2013.
VW head Martin Winterkorn said the auto maker wants to offer a large number of all-electric vehicles at affordable prices, and is aiming for 1.0-1.5 percent of the global all-electric vehicle market by 2020.
Earlier in the year, Volkswagen AG signed an agreement with Toshiba Corp. to develop an electric car and a high-density battery system for electric vehicles.
In March, two other German car makers announced their foray into the electric-vehicle market. Daimler AG announced a partnership with Aabar Investments PJSC to work on joint projects focused on electric vehicles and the reduction of CO2 emissions, and BMW, announced its first project, the MINI E electric vehicle, which is being tested by 500 customers in California.
German companies until now have mainly focused on diesel engines and, as a result, hybrids represented only 0.2 percent of the market last year, with the sale of 6,500 Toyota, Lexus or Honda models.
Other auto makers moving into the electric-vehicle market include CT&T Co. Ltd., a South Korea-based manufacturer of low-speed electric vehicles. CT&T United, a U.S. subsidiary of CT&T, plans to build electric vehicles in the U.S. beginning with the e-Zone and c-Zone vehicles, reports Green Congress. The company will establish a U.S. headquarters, research & development and manufacturing plants. Potential sites include South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama and California, according to Green Congress.
In the Chinese market, ECOtality is establishing a joint venture with Shenzhen Goch International Ltd. to manufacture and distribute electric-vehicle charging systems in China, reports Green Congress. In exchange for exclusive sales and distribution rights for the ECOtality charging system in China, Shenzhen is investing $10 million in the manufacturing joint venture and $5 million into the sales and distribution joint venture.