Geneva gossip

March 2, 2010 § Leave a comment

The bits ‘n pieces:

Volkswagen wants to become the world’s best-seller of hybrids and electric cars by 2018. A hybrid Jetta arrives 2012, hybrid Passat and Golf models 2013, plus a hybrid version of the new Compact Coupe (as seen in Detroit). A test fleet of 500 electric Golfs will hit the road next year, with EV versions of the Up! and Jetta in 2013. There’ll be a hybrid Audi Q5 later this year, with the e-tron sports car to be launched next year. “Volkswagen will be taking E-mobility to mass production”, said chairman Dr Winterkorn. “We want to attain an electric vehicle market share of 3% within our entire range of products… We will take the hybrid out of its niche status with our high-volume models”.

Opel is to launch a new city car with an electric powertrain as well as conventional drive systems. It’ll be a Vauxhall in the UK; it’s due 2013. Vauxhall-Opel is planning a series of hybrids and electric vehicles as well as the upcoming Ampera plug-in hybrid which arrives next year.

Renault wants to be the manufacturer with the lowest average carbon dioxide emissions by 2015. New engine/powertrain tech to bring down emissions from ICE vehicles include an efficient dual-clutch auto gearbox (to go in the Megane range first), with ongoing emissions reductions across the range. The electric vehicles come from 2011.

Daimler is doing a deal with Chinese car-maker BYD to develop and sell EVs in China. A MOU has been signed. The cars will be specifically aimed at the Chinese market and will be sold under a new, jointly-owned brand-name (AutoBeat Europe).

Citroen is introducing a new name-tag, e-HDI, to designate super-economical diesel models with tech such as stop-start, regenerative braking or its new automated manual gearbox. A C3 Picasso e-HDI demo model is showing off further features including a polycarbonate roof with photovoltaic panels,  and recycled-material floor mats, seat foam, wheel trims and even fuel tank. Citroen’s aiming for a 20% ‘green’ material content by 2011. The company has also confirmed launch of the C-Zero (a Citroen-badged version of the Mitsubishi i) late this year.

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