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Volkswagen Working On Electric Vehicles For American Market

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2009 Volkswagen E-up! Concept at the 2009 Frankfurt auto show

2009 Volkswagen E-up! Concept at the 2009 Frankfurt auto show

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Volkswagen gave us a preview of its first series electric vehicle at last week’s 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show, where the company also confirmed that the first cars will be on sale around 2013. The preview was in the form of the 2009 Volkswagen E-Up! electric-vehicle concept, which featured an efficient all-electric powertrain packaged in the body of a minicar.

News today reports that an electric car, slightly larger than the E-Up!, will likely be sold in North America.

2009 Volkswagen E-up! Concept at the 2009 Frankfurt auto show

2009 Volkswagen E-up! Concept at the 2009 Frankfurt auto show

Enlarge Photo

"The reason we are working on an electric vehicle is the American market," said Volkswagen R&D chief Ulrich Hackenberg at last week’s Frankfurt event. He also reaffirmed plans to launch the production version of the E-Up! in Europe in 2013, which means the American version could be on sale by 2014.

For the North American market, Hackenberg said he envisions a front-drive model measuring about 146-inches in length.

2009 Volkswagen E-Up! Concept

2009 Volkswagen E-Up! Concept

Enlarge Photo

The launch of cars like the E-Up! is interesting news from Volkswagen, which has largely focused its efficiency efforts on its diesel lineup in the past. Looks like Volkswagen may be rushing to beat its rivals, both in Germany and abroad, in the race of electric vehicle supremacy. The German auto giant is also planning a hybrid onslaught, with a gasoline-electric version of the Touareg SUV set to debut at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show in January.

[AutoNews, sub req'd]

2009 Volkswagen E-Up! Concept

2009 Volkswagen E-Up! Concept

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