"We really think that electric mobility will take off by the year 2020, that's our judgement of the future," Herbert Diess, CEO of VW Brands, told CNBC's Nancy Hungerford.
"China will probably be the lead market for electric cars," he said. "From there, we will really grow volumes very steeply."
Consumers are buying fewer and fewer diesel cars, according to Carlos Ghosn, CEO and chairman of Renault. But the fuel type is not going to go away, as new technology will be introduced to comply with emission regulations -- although this will increase costs.
"It's going to make the car more costly, but this is a cost that can be borne by larger cars, more expensive cars," he said to Hungerford. "For smaller cars, it's a killer, so it means that we're going to have to go for different kinds of technology, more affordable."