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L.A. Auto Show: Volkswagen unveils eGolf electric car

Volkswagen used the Los Angeles Auto Show to launch its first U.S. electric vehicle in the nation’s premier zero-emissions car market.

The 2015 Volkswagen eGolf, in its North America debut on Wednesday, joins a host of electric cars from automakers seeking to comply with California’s strict pollution standards, which essentially mandate production of cars with no tailpipe emissions.

The eGolf will go on sale in select states in fall 2014. It will join a host of other electrics that sell in low volumes but nonetheless have sparked high competition among automakers.

PHOTOS: L.A. Auto Show model debuts

Car companies — which get credits toward meeting California regulations for each zero-emissions car sold — have deeply discounted leases on the cars, which have surged in popularity this year.

“We see the eGolf as part of our overall objective by 2018 to see 3% of vehicle sales be electric vehicles,” said Jonathan Browning, VW’s chief executive, in an interview. “We’re rounding out our portfolio of regular gas, diesel, hybrid and now electric vehicles.”

The VW is among four significant plug-in vehicle debuts at this year’s L.A. Auto Show. Elsewhere around the Los Angeles Convention Center, General Motors was scheduled to roll out the Cadillac ELR, based on the Chevrolet Volt; BMW showed off its i3 battery electric; and VW’s luxury division Audi rolled out a corporate cousin of the eGolf, the Audi A3 e-tron.

FULL COVERAGE: L.A. Auto Show 2013

Volkswagen did not announce pricing on the eGolf, the electric version of its popular sporty hatchback. But the car will likely be eligible for state and federal buyer incentives of up to $10,000.

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