Volkswagen, Europe's leading auto manufacturer, plans to launch their first fully-electric car in China next year. The German automaker is the latest to release their own line up of fully electric vehicles following Tesla, which has been making waves in the electric car market and changing the landscape of energy providers, forcing auto manufacturing competitors to step into the scene with their own versions of fully electric cars. Volkswagen is planning to roll out four affordable electric vehicles in the upcoming years and the Audi unit debuting an all electric crossover by 2019. In order to make electric vehicles more viable, the German company has made huge progress in reducing production costs according to the head of the Volkswagen marque's electric-car project, Christian Senger. The new electric line up will each have "I.D." in their name, and will be partially developed in China. The new line up will include a mid-size sports utility vehicle, a hatchback and a sedan. Electric models will be a major stepping stone for the re-emergence of the auto manufacturer from the diesel scandal which had a crippling effect on the company. The diesel scandal started in September 2015, when the United States EPA had found the auto manufacturer had intentionally programmed their diesel engines to activate certain emissions controls during laboratory emissions testing. The program had cause the output of the engine to meet the US regulatory standards but in reality released 40 times more emissions in real world driving.
Jochem Heizmann, head of Volkswagen China unit said the new electric car will be produced under a new brand name with a local partner, state-owned Jianghuai Automotive Corp. "This will be a new co-operation on pure battery cars," said Heizmann. China has one of the most aggressive electric car goals. The country sees it as a solution to their infamous air polluted cities. The country has invested a lot into the industry in the form of incentives in hopes of becoming a leader in the electric car market. Heizmann expects annual sales of at least 400,000 their new energy vehicles by 2020 and 1.5 million by 2025. The plan to create a new brand for the Volkswagen-Jianghuai partnership is nothing new for all auto manufacturers whom wish to sell their vehicles in the world's largest market. The government only allows foreign automakers into their market only if they partner up with a local business in order to help create indigenous brands.