First production EV by the brand to be launched by 2020.

Volkswagen will accelerate the process of launching production electric vehicles in order to be able to meet the ever stricter European emissions standards. The German manufacturer wants to have its first EV on the market by the end of the decade, company executives, quoted by Automotive News, declared.

"It's a very tight time plan for 2020, but we need the cars then to comply with our fleet targets. So, it's a necessity to achieve the launch dates, but it's well on the way," Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess told analysts at VW's headquarters last week.

The first dedicated EV of the brand will be based on the new MEB platform, and its design is expected to get a final approval in August this year. It will be a Golf-sized hatchback, influenced by the I.D. concept revealed in Paris last year.

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The brand has reportedly already confirmed the launch of two additional vehicles, based on the same MEB architecture. The first one will be an electric SUV, which is rumoured to be previewed by a study at the upcoming Shanghai show in April. It will be launched after 2020 and will be followed two years later by a minibus with semi-autonomous technologies, inspired by the I.D. Buzz concept.

The European Union wants manufacturers to reduce the average CO2 emissions to 95 grams per kilometre by 2021, while the Chinese government wants to restrict the average fuel consumption to five litres per 100 kilometers, or roughly 117 grams CO2 per kilometre.

"This five-litre target is as challenging as the 95-gram CO2 target in Europe for 2020. In addition, China is on the way to implementing really the most challenging emission regulations worldwide," VW China chief Jochem Heizmann commented.

Source: Automotive News

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