Looking ahead, Volkswagen wants its cars to be able to function as smartphones on wheels — sending and receiving data as they drive.
The German manufacturer plans on joining the self-driving car market, but in the more immediate sense, it will roll out 20 electric cars and plug-in hybrids – spanning compacts to luxury sedans – according to Bloomberg.
“We are in the process of reinventing Europe’s largest automaker,” said VW chief executive Martin Winterkorn prior to this week’s Frankfurt International Motor Show, as reported by Bloomberg. “By 2020, we will have transformed all of our new cars into smartphones on wheels.”
Winterkorn added: “At a time of major social and technological upheaval, people expect new answers, new solutions and new directions from us. The Porsche Mission E and the Audi e-tron quattro concept are nothing less than a quantum leap for our industry.”
With each of the aforementioned electric vehicles boasting a range of 500 kilometers (311 miles), Winterkorn said VW’s Tiguan GTE model exemplifies their “determination to systematically take the plug-in hybrid to further classes and segments.”
To that end, Volkswagen showed off its concept technology for charging electric cars in “V-Charge” in Frankfurt.
“We have the right cars. Now what is needed is the right framework for this key technology to really catch on,” Winterkorn stated.
VW certainly needs the boost, considering that Bloomberg is reporting that the manufacturer’s deliveries in the United States are declining and have also slowed in China, its largest market.
In addition to its vow to roll out with 20 electric cars and plug-in hybrids by 2020, Volkswagen was recently one of the automakers that gained approval from the California Department of Motor Vehicles to test autonomous cars on the steets of California.