VW CEO says electric vehicles are 'very far away'
"Electric mobility does have a place in the long-term future," Winterkorn said. But he added that an era of safe and affordable electric cars for daily use "is very far away."
He said: "We're concerned with the best solution, not the fastest solution."
Winterkorn acknowledged that the current wave of customer interest in environmentally friendly cars will be a lasting feature in the market.
The VW boss said it is uncertain how long the current global crisis will last, but he expressed confidence that demand for passenger cars will pick up again.
Winterkorn also said the combustion engine will be the main powerplant for passenger cars for at least another 15 to 20 years. "The future of VW is green," he said on Monday night at a press event ahead of the auto show here. But he added that "at the top of our agenda is the further optimization of the combustion engine."
Winterkorn expressed satisfaction with VW group's 2008 results. The group reported Monday that operating profit rose 3.0 percent to 6.3 billion euros as sales increased 4.5 percent to 113.8 billion euros.
Said Winterkorn: "VW is in pole position for the time after the crisis when the market picks up again."