Frankfurt Motor Show looks electrified but how real is it?

Frankfurt Motor ShowThe German auto show is going full steam ahead and has been getting plentiful media coverage describing electrified vehicles as the central theme. There certainly have been a lot of displays, but the typical question arises – how much of this will really reach production lines, what will the volume look like, and when will they show up at dealer lots? Here’s a few highlights from last week…

Volkswagen took center stage – claiming to have 40 new hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and battery electric vehicles in the works to roll out by 2018; the company plans to roll out 14 vehicles with alternative powertrains by next year. Coming soon will be electrified versions of the Up! city car, Golf compact, Audi A3 Sportback plug-in hybrid, and a battery-assisted Porsche 918 supercar. Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn says that his company will become the world’s largest producer of battery-based vehicles in the world.

VW also said that it’s considering rolling out natural gas-powered cars in the US. The automaker is urging the Environmental Protection Agency to do more to get a broader natural gas refueling network set up across the country.

Land Rover will be offering a diesel plug-in hybrid Range Rover SUV. It’s expected to pair a 288 horsepower turbodiesel engine with a 47 hp electric motor, and will get 44 miles per gallon.

BMW officially unveiled its i8 plug-in hybrid, which gets 362 hp that comes from a three-cylinder engine and an electric motor. BMW is also showing a Concept X5 eDrive at the show – a plug-in hybrid based on a four-cylinder engine.

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