German carmakers are catching up to what other manufacturers are doing, and seem to be coming out with several models incorporating electric drive. According to reports from the Paris Auto Show, an electric drive Mercedes B-Class will be brought to the US market. And a hybrid Volkswagen Jetta is also scheduled to be available for the 2013 model year. An all-electric VW Golf (which will be based on the newly introduced 2014 Golf) is expected to be released as part of the 2015 line, as well.
The concept version of the Mercedes B-Class shown in Paris has almost 125 miles (200 kilometers) of range and can reach a top speed of 93 miles per hour (150 kph). The vehicle uses lithium-ion batteries for power storage, but the capacity of the batteries has not been released. The battery powered B-Class will be available in 2014.
The hybrid Jetta has a 1.4 liter gas engine along with a 27 HP electric motor. It can travel at speeds up to 44 miles per hour (70 kph) in all-electric mode, and has an estimated combined fuel economy of 45 MPG. Deliveries of the hybrid Jetta are slated to begin at the end of this year.
These moves come even as other automakers are pulling back from pure electric drive vehicles. Even if they aren't a large part of these manufacturers' lines, the electrification of automobiles will continue, and this will give these manufacturers further insight and customer feedback about how these vehicles are or are not meeting consumer needs.
written by Joris, October 06, 2012
written by Lawrence Leichtman, October 17, 2012
written by Best Man, October 20, 2012
written by Tom Fischer, March 17, 2013
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