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Volkswagen considers 40 electric, hybrid vehicles in green push

FRANKFURT (Bloomberg) — Volkswagen Group outlined plans to offer as many as 40 electric or hybrid vehicles in a bet that customers will have enough confidence to shift to low-emission models.

The automaker will produce 14 vehicles with alternative drivetrains by next year, it said in a statement.

The company will widen the lineup should demand increase, CEO Martin Winterkorn said on Monday at a Frankfurt auto show event to introduce the e-Up electric car and and a battery-powered version of the Golf hatchback.

“The electric car cannot be a compromise on wheels,” Winterkorn said. “It must convince customers in every respect.” The plug-in hybrid has the “greatest market potential,” he said.

The e-Golf has a range of 190 km (118 miles) while the e-Up can travel up to 160km (99 km) on a full battery charge.

VW is expanding in a niche that has yet to meet mass-market competitors’ targets. Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn said in an interview in early September that the carmaker and partner Nissan Motor will miss a goal of selling a combined 1.5 million electric cars by 2016.

More http://europe.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130910/ANE/309109964&template=mobile02

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