Regional electrification: Volkswagen plans to develop an accessible flex hybrid in Brazil

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VOlkswagen was one of the first brands to announce that it wants to replicate its electrification strategy in South America as well, of course adapting to the local context, with a less developed infrastructure network and a level of electric car sales well below the figures. of Europe. That is why the company, in addition to importing some products from the ID range, also plans to produce vehicles with some kind of electrification in the region and it is precisely what the new CEO of VW South America, Alexander Seitz, spoke about: the brand will develop a flex hybrid in Brazil.

This important announcement was made during the inauguration of the Way to Zero Center, a bifuel Research and Development Center located within the Sao Bernardo do Campo plant that is part of an investment ratified last year by his predecessor, Pablo Di Si, who now serves as CEO of VW North America. Seitz explained that Skoda and Volkswagen India are working on an accessible hybrid platform created from the well-known MQB-A0 architecture -used by the Polo, Virtus, Nivus and T-Cross- and that it will target various markets such as South America, Africa , Asia and even some European countries like Spain and Italy.

blankThe main challenge will be to have a network of local suppliers for the manufacture of specific parts and components, which is what will allow the price of these products to be truly accessible.: “The objective is to have a financially viable product, with local production of most of the parts. The important thing is the focus on costs. We need to have a high degree of component localization for the project to be competitive and financially viable”, the executive remarked.

As Brazil will have a great impact on this project and will be one of the main markets, the engine of the vehicles created from this platform must be prepared to use both gasoline and ethanol. However, it is not yet defined what electrification technology it will use: it can be micro-hybrid/mild-hybrid (MHEV), conventional hybrid (HEV) or even plug-in hybrid (PHEV), everything will depend on the analysis of production and sale costs.

blankBeyond the announcement, it is a development that will take a few years. Seitz clarified that its presentation will not be in the short term and that it may be presented first in Europe and then in other regions, therefore, they do not intend to be the first to offer accessible hybrid vehicles in Brazil or South America, since that will also depend on the strategy of your competitors. For now, the Wolfsburg firm only sold some units of the hybrid Touareg in Argentina, Golf GTE in Brazil and Volkswagen e-Up! in Uruguay, as a kind of pilot test. However, it does plan to launch the ID.3 and ID.4 (100% electric) in the coming years and since the beginning of the year it has been carrying out tests with a Golf R-Line with mild-hybrid technology in Brazil, which could indicate that this project would follow that path.

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Regional electrification: Volkswagen plans to develop an accessible flex hybrid in Brazil – 16 Valves