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VW announces its app-based charging network for e-cars

By Hao Yan | China Daily | Updated: 2017-07-03 09:22

A Volkswagen driver in China charges his car by using an app. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Volkswagen China has joined hands with local charging facility operators to pursue integrated one-stop charging solutions, a progressive move ahead of its fully fledged launch of electric models in the country that is leading development in the world's new energy vehicle market.

The German automaker inked partnership agreements on Thursday in Beijing with the city's public charging facility service and management provider Zhongchuang Sanyou (Beijing) Technology, Wanbang Charging Equipment and Qingdao Teld New Energy.

The three local companies' charging services will be integrated into Volkswagen's service network and smartphone app.

"The Volkswagen brand will provide 360-degree services, as we are committed to our customers," said Stephan Wollenstein, CEO of Volkswagen China's passenger cars brand.

"It's a starting point. The partners in the future won't be restrained to the current three.

"Volkswagen will provide the services to customers across the country and will work with different partners, for example, different suppliers in Beijing and Shanghai. Volkswagen will integrate the service providers into the universal platform," he said.

The earliest beneficiary will be Volkswagen e-Golf users. They will be able to find available charging facilities via the app, navigate there, start recharging and pay the bill through on their mobile devices.

The full electric Volkswagen e-Golf is set to be imported to the Chinese market later this year, along with SAIC Volkswagen's launch of its Phideon plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, according to Wollenstein.

In 2018, the carmaker will have four new energy offerings on the market, the imported Volkswagen Golf Variant GTE, a locally produced compact full electric hatchback, a mid to large-size plug-in hybrid sedan, and a plug-in hybrid SUV.

Two China-made compact blade electric hatchbacks and a localized SUV will be offered in 2019, together with a mid to large-size plug-in hybrid sedan and another imported plug-in hybrid.

A pure electric SUV will be locally produced by 2020.

The company is set to begin the local production of its next generation of fully electric connected vehicles in China in 2020.

By the end of 2025, a total of 20 Volkswagen-branded new energy vehicle models are set to be on dealerships' forecourts for Chinese customers to consider.

Wollenstein added: "The Volkswagen brand is forging its own battery system. We are going to have a large amount of high quality battery packs by working with local battery suppliers."

Sven Patuschka, head of Volkswagen research and development in China, said: "We comply with the policies in China. Only the Chinese battery makers are in the government's white list, so we are going to work with local suppliers."

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