Volkswagen will begin production of electric vehicles at its two joint ventures from 2014, VW China president and CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann told an EU-China business convention in Beijing.

The plan is to be producing 100,000 units a year by 2018 as Volkswagen tries to help China cut pollution and reduce its dependence on oil. 

"I am convinced e-vehicles will be a success in China because I think it is desperately needed," he told the convention. 

He added that Volkswagen, which has partnerships with SAIC Motor and FAW Group in China, would launch its first plug-in hybrid here in 2015. Both SAIC and FAW would develop their own EVs, he said.

Beijing is pushing EVs as a top priority with some US$15bn promised over the next 10 years to help China’s car industry become a world leader in clean vehicles.