Archive for category Golf Blue e motion

VW GTE – the Golf hybrid GTI


Feb 20, 2014

New plug-in hybrid marries sustainability and performance

  • Golf GTE can be driven up to 31 miles in all-electric mode; the total theoretical driving range is 584 miles
  • European Driving Cycle combined fuel economy of 157 mpg
  • System has 201 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque
  • GTE is the third GT in the Golf model series, following GTI and GTD
  • Golf GTE has a top speed of 135 mph and accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in just 7.6 seconds

Wolfsburg / Geneva, March 2014 — Volkswagen is the first automaker worldwide to offer a model line with a full range of conventional and alternative powertrains. The new Golf GTE plug-in hybrid, which will be presented at the Geneva International Motor Show (March 4 to 16, 2014) is the fifth powertrain to be offered in the Golf, adding to gasoline, diesel, CNG and full electric versions. The Golf GTE has an NEDC hybrid combined fuel economy rating of 157 mpg (equivalent to 35 g of CO2) and has an all-electric range of 31 miles along with an overall range of 584 miles.

GTI, GTD, GTE. The Golf GTE name is in line with the GTI and GTD abbreviations—two sporty icons of the Golf range. The first GTI in 1976 invented the term “hot hatch” and is currently the most successful compact sports car in the world. The “I” in the name stands for electronic fuel injection while the “D” in GTD, introduced for the first time in 1982, stands for diesel fuel injection. The latest versions of these two best-selling Golf sports cars were introduced in 2013. Now Volkswagen has transferred its sporty compact car philosophy to a third model—the Golf GTE.

The new Golf GTE has two engines: a 1.4-liter 148 horsepower turbocharged and direct-injection TSI® engine and a 101 hp electric motor. These combine to provide the stated system power of 201 hp. If the electric motor is the sole source for propulsive power, the Golf GTE is capable of speeds of up to 81 mph. When the full power of the system is harnessed, the GTE sprints from 0 to 62 mph in 7.6 seconds and achieves a top speed of 135 mph on the autobahn and race courses. Of more significance is the superior pulling power of the Golf GTE thanks to its alliance of a gasoline engine and electric motor that produces a maximum torque of 258 lb-ft. This torque sets this first “GTE” apart from other plug-in hybrid models.

Despite its power and torque, the Golf GTE remains one of the world’s most efficient cars. If you mainly run short distances, you can drive in emissions-free all-electric mode for days, weeks, and months. The battery takes about three and a half hours to charge fully from a conventional wall outlet.

If the battery is charged using a wallbox or a public charging station, the charging time is shortened to approximately two and a half hours. Thanks to the control options on the Golf GTE, the driver can also ensure on longer trips that only the electric motor is used in an urban area.

The automobile revolution has a name – MQB. The variety of products in the Golf lineup— TSI (including GTI), TDI® (including GTD), TGI (powered by CNG), e-Golf, and Golf GTE—is made possible by the modular transverse matrix, abbreviated to MQB. This modular technology platform, initially introduced with the current Golf in 2012, is synonymous with an automotive revolution because Volkswagen engineers have created the prerequisites for a high-volume model, such as the Golf, to accept all drive types. This explains why Golf models with gasoline, diesel, natural gas, electric and hybrid drives can be manufactured from bumper to bumper at Volkswagen factories. As soon as developments make it possible, the first Golf with a hydrogen fuel cell will become part of the range.

Golf GTE plug-in hybrid system
As mentioned, the new Golf GTE is driven by a 148-hp TSI turbocharged and direct-injection gasoline engine and a 101-hp electric motor. The electric motor is supplied with power from a high-voltage 8.8 kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery that is charged from a socket behind the VW logo in the radiator grille. The battery weighs 265 pounds, or about eight percent of the GTE’s 3360-pound curb weight. The GTE has a six-speed DSG® automatic transmission that was developed specifically for hybrid vehicles.

Volkswagen integrated the electric motor in the transmission housing. Additional hybrid drive components also include the power electronics (which converts the battery’s direct current to alternating current for the electric motor) and a charger. An electro-mechanical brake servo and an electric air-conditioning compressor safeguard optimal and energy-efficient operation of the brakes and air conditioning, especially for the GTE’s “e-mode”.

The Golf GTE can be driven in various intuitively named modes. For instance, the driver can push a button to intentionally switch to the “e-mode” which makes the Golf GTE a zero-emissions vehicle. The driver can also use the button to switch to “GTE mode”, which activates the sporty side of this new Golf.

Design and features
The Golf GTE contains a pioneering, environmentally friendly, and sporty plug-in hybrid system. All of this is combined with a suspension that offers equally sporty handling and high levels of comfort.

Exterior. Volkswagen Head Designer Klaus Bischoff’s crew created a look that merges GTI insignia with those of the e-Golf, creating an unmistakable identity. Klaus Bischoff explains the differences: “The presence of the electric drive is visually expressed by the prominent C-signature of the daytime running lights on the Golf GTE. Meanwhile, all other front design elements bridge to the GTI.”

In those places where red dominates on the GTI, blue is used in the GTE. Bischoff continues: “A radiator crossbar running into the headlights provides further sporty accents within the context of Volkswagen electric mobility.” Like the e-Golf, the four-door Golf GTE will launch with LED dual headlights as standard. The turn signals, parking light, and smoked numberplate lighting also use LED technology. Side skirts and a roof-edge spoiler provide further parallels with the GTI and GTD. Meanwhile, the aerodynamic 16-inch (standard), 17-inch, and 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels were designed especially for the GTE.

Interior. Like the exterior, the sporty interior of the Golf GTE reveals a clear relationship to its other two GT series counterparts. However, just as on the exterior, the interior’s red accents have also turned to blue. Klaus Bischoff says: “Volkswagen’s e-mobility color of blue creates attractive contrasts in the car’s seating, decorative seams, and material design. Moreover, the blue ambience lighting builds a visual bridge to the world of e-mobility.” The light blue decorative seams on the leather-wrapped steering wheel, on the edges of the floormats, on the seats, and on the shifter grip are perfectly matched with the exterior features of the Golf GTE.

Golf GTE-specific instruments and displays
All Golf cars are equipped with a touchscreen. In the case of the Golf GTE the high-resolution 6.5-inch “Composition Media” radio system is standard. The “Discover Pro” radio-navigation system is available as an option. Both units are equipped with many additional functions on the GTE. These include a “driving range monitor”, an “energy flow display”, “zero emission statistics”, “e-manager”, and—with the optional navigation system—the “360° driving range”. Additionally, all Golf GTE owners can download the “Volkswagen Car-Net e-Remote” app to their smartphone free-of-charge and use it to control functions and access information.

Driving range monitor: shows the current electric driving range of the GTE as well as the additional driving range potential from deactivating any auxiliary features that consume electricity.

Energy flow display: shows the power flow when accelerating (blue arrows) and when braking or regenerating (green arrows) as animated graphics.

e-manager: can program up to three departure and charging times; the Golf GTE ensures the set temperature and battery charge status at a defined time. Parallel to this, heating or cooling of the interior can be activated using standard air-conditioning while charging. Air conditioning therefore does not hinder the battery charging process, thereby extending the electric range.

360° range: the current radius in “e-mode” is shown by the 360° range in the local map. The inner area shows the range for an outward and return trip, the outer area the range for a one-way drive. Charging stations can be displayed and incorporated in the route as intermediate stopovers.

Car-Net e-Remote. Using the “Volkswagen Car-Net e-Remote” app it is also possible to make several of these settings and requests for information via a smartphone or the Car-Net website. In detail, the app can program the departure time, air conditioning, charging the battery, accessing vehicle data, and the vehicle’s status.

Power meter. The power meter supplements the tachometer on the left-hand side of the instrument cluster; it displays how much system power is currently being used or the intensity of battery regeneration. The speedometer remains on the right-hand side. The color display which is located between the power meter and the speedometer (multifunction display “Plus”) also permanently shows the electrical driving range and the current operating mode.

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Audi A3 etron/Golf hybrid price after federal income tax credits in US

The German price and final specs have been released which have allowed me to make a guess at estimated pricing in the US.  This is just my personal guess but it’s an educated guess.  I took the German price of the Audi A3 e-tron, subtracted sales tax (VAT), adjusted for the US market, and ended up at $37,000 after tax credits of about $4,500.  The price you pay sales tax on is $42,000 which is close to my original total wild guess of $40,000.

The Golf hybrid uses the same drivetrain and battery as the Audi A3 etron so I have to use the same guess but adjust it downwards to account for a VW brand discount.  Adding that to a basic Golf results in about $33-36,000 before tax credits, or roughly $29-31,000 after tax credits. Here is my longer forum post with how I arrived at the Audi A3 numbers including references.  Here’s the Golf estimate in detail:

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Volkswagen ditches blue emotion name for the electric Golf, names it e-Golf

I thought VW had a pretty nice name for the all electric version of the Golf, the Golf blue-e-motion or bluemotion. This was the name for the prototype all electric Golfs that were running around Wolfsburg, Germany. If you visited the Autostadt in Wolfsburg, they would even let you take a ride in one. However, a few weeks before the official release of the electric Golf, VW’s press release says e-Golf.

Seriously, why did they ditch blue-e-motion or bluemotion for a generic name like e-Golf? It’s as generic and bland as Golf-i or Golf v2. Why not just call it the electric Golf. I wonder what was said in the corporate or marketing meeting which killed any e-motion behind the name.

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VW Golf vs. Audi A3 hybrid and TDI sales numbers

I recently went to the VW museum in Wolfsburg where the 25 millionth VW Golf had an ignominious hiding spot behind a curtain in storage. Just last month, VW built the 30 millionth VW Golf and Audi just announced they built the 3 millionth Audi A3. Even though that doesn’t sound like a lot, the Audi A3 has only been around since 1996 and the VW Golf has been around since 1974. Assuming even sales every year (I know that’s not right but I don’t have any other yardstick), that means the A3 sells 176,470/yr and the Golf sells 769,230/yr. That’s a factor of 4.35 per year.

Both the all new Audi A3 and will come in TDI and plugin hybrid form and I wonder which one will be more popular! They’ll share a 1.4L turbo engine and 8.8kWh battery since they’re based off the same platform. Which would you want?

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VW Golf Blue-e-motion electric car test

VW has started public road tests of its electric Golf.  The full Electric Golf Blue-e-motion (VW’s name for their electric drive cars)  started testing in San Francisco Bay area.  You might think they chose this area to court the hippies but it’s really done because VW’s Electronic Research Lab is located nearby.

The final configuration and specs of the electric Golf isn’t yet set but they’ve been testing one with a divided battery pack instead of a single battery pack to better balance the car.  Most battery packs are located in the trunk which actually isn’t a horrible setup since it balances the heavy front of the car.

Early specs call for a limited release for 2014 in Europe.  In the meantime, a Golf hybrid is planned for the US market for 2015.  It’ll probably have similar specs to the VW Jetta hybrid.

Volkswagen last week started testing a battery-electric version of its Golf hatchback in the San Francisco Bay Area as the German automaker looks to test about 20 of its so-called “Golf Blue-e-motion” vehicles on U.S. roads, said.

VW, whose Electronic Research Laboratory is in Belmont, CA, will test a vehicle whose battery pack can be split into a few sections in order to better balance the car, the website said. The 114-horsepower plug-in can accelerate from 0 to 62 miles per hour in about 12 seconds and has a top speed of 87 miles per hour as well as a single-charge range of about 90 miles.

VW, which hasn’t announced official plans to start selling the battery-electric Golf, said earlier this month that it would start selling a Golf plug-in hybrid (PHEV) in 2015. That model will likely pair a 1.4-liter turbocharged gas engine with a 107-horsepower electric motor and will be able to go as far as 30 miles in electric-only mode. VW will unveil a Golf PHEV concept vehicle at the Paris Motor Show this September, according to

In late 2010, VW unveiled the Golf Blue e-motion in Germany and said at the time that the prototype had a single-charge range of about 100 miles and that the range would be “significantly improved” by the time the model was sold to the public in 2014 (read this for our first-drive review).

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The US confirms its appetite for electric only cars, Leaf sales great

I would have thought the Chevy Volt would have outsold the Nissan Leaf due to range anxiety.  The Volt runs its gasoline engine to charge  the battery and provide propulsion when most efficient.  The Leaf is a full EV with no range extenders.  But this is not the case.  According to Nissan, they’ve been selling about 1,500/month as of June 2011 vs. about 500/month of the Volt.  Why is this?

So far, all the VW-Audi-Porsche hybrids are hybrids which run both an electric motor and gasoline engine during normal driving.  Future planned cars include the blue-e-motion which are full EV.  Should VW group focus its efforts on leapfrogging the Prius and making a full EV car?  It seems that its main market for these cars, the US, has thrown its weight behind one solution.  This could have a significant influence on future plans.  Europe still prefers diesels and probably will for the near future.


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2014 Golf Blue-e-motion second drive

Yes, we know. “2014″ sounds so impressively future-y, doesn’t it? When we’re testing a car and the R&D people involved look at us and say it won’t be on the market until 2014, our eyes dilate, too. “Wow,” we say to ourselves while keeping a straight face in front of the mega-powerful board member, “That’s like space travel and everything!”

So yeah, we get emotional.

It’s understandable, too, because we’re in the mothership for what seems like half of the world’s significant automotive brands. It’s the Volkswagen Group’s Wolfsburg HQ on the vast verdant lowlands of northern Germany in the region of Lower Saxony. There is no Upper Saxony, by the way. We looked.

We’re here to get a personalized infotainment-filled test of the already much commented-on Volkswagen Golf Blue-e-motion. It’s coming to the United States in… 2014.

We did have an opportunity to drive the eGolf (they refer to it this way in company graphics displays, so…) toward the end of 2010 in Los Angeles, yes, but the conditions for getting thorough details were simply not there and the drive was a token 15 minutes in downtown L.A., which revealed little.

So, today we hit the road on the more cruising-style roads of the Wolfsburg area and get serious details. We’re with Sören Hinze, one of the key engineers in VW’s electric traction technical development group, and the overall head of technology product communication, Harthmuth Hoffmann, who has accompanied the Golf Blue-e-motion everywhere it has gone over the past few months.

Aesthetically, there’s not much to highlight with the exterior. It’s a Golf. With stickers. What really is different from a strictly stock exterior is the full feature set of VW’s BlueMotion aerodynamic touches. All body panels reduce gaps even further, the grilles and underbody provide less wind resistance, headlights and indicators are combined in one unit, the rear roof spoiler helps make the Golf slipperier and all-season tires are low-rolling resistance units. The central grille in this case is even simpler, too, since theoretically no air-flow is needed on this liquid-cooled electrical drivetrain. Our tires today, however, are rain forest-destroying winter treads – 205/55 16-inch Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D. It’s now German law that winter tires specifically marked “M + S” (mud and snow) must be mounted whenever cold-weather conditions dictate, or it’s one point off your license and a $55 fine – $110 if your negligence results in your car blocking traffic.

The roads were dry today, the winter sky gloriously sunny and we were filled with that let’s-keep-the-air-clean spirit. The Golf VI currently on the market is by far the quietest hatchback in history, with a level of noise-vibration-and-harshness work seen on cars like the Phaeton or Touareg. Take the internal combustion engine, fuel system and exhaust system away and it’s a magic carpet. In fact, the only sound we heard in the cabin besides the typical slight whine of the front AC/DC inverter and electronics management unit (yes, it’s an EMU) orchestrating everything up front was that of the dang-blasted winter tires. The coefficient of drag is pretty fine for this boxy configuration at 0.295. Just to be precise.

Inside, well, it’s also a Golf. The steering wheel with paddles are from the series car with DSG, as is the basic lever by our right thigh on the center console. The paddles in this case work a four-setting brake energy recuperation system, while the console shift lever adds a “B” at the bottom, which takes us straight to the highest level of brake energy recuperation. This extra setting is useful if, for instance, we find ourselves on a very non-Lower Saxon downhill from the Eisenhower tunnel east toward Denver, or whatever hurtling descent you care to mention. The B can also be engaged as heavy resistance as you approach a stop.

Of course, the onboard computer display also takes into account the fact that we’re in a lithium-ion-powered electric vehicle. Between the center screen, the analogue dials and our iPhone’s VW Remote application, Volkswagen has done everything possible to make certain normal drivers don’t experience range anxiety, or to keep them from ever getting caught powerless in the darkest reaches of Lower Saxony or Los Angeles. There are visual reminders everywhere we look of our hypothetical range remaining and the battery pack’s current state of charge.

There’s no sign of a sunroof on the inside, even though there seems to be one as you look at the Golf Blue-e-motion from the outside. Surprise! It’s a solar panel for collecting a little free energy for the battery. Another subtle alteration is the rear cargo floor raised by eight-tenths of an inch for the rear battery element, which lessens slightly the seats-up total capacity reading to 9.7 cubic feet.

In the nearby town of Kassel, Volkswagen’s Electro-Mobility Workshop has founded its own manufacturing facility for the 12,000-rpm, 114-horsepower electric motor weighing 176 pounds and mounted in front of the front axle, and driving same. The current 695-pound multi-module array of 180 lithium-ion cells is distributed in such a way that fore-aft weight here reads 50:50 percent, whereas a standard Golf is more front-biased at 55:45. The added 452 pounds of curb weight versus the heaviest series trim car is also placed way down in the structure. This inherently brings on altered dynamics for the drive, which are frankly in some ways better than anything the standard Golf can approach – at least in normal day-to-day toodling around

For the moment, VW bosses are not revealing the supplier of the lithium-ion cells since VW (and everyone else in this game) is taking proposals from every reliable source in South Korea, Japan and China. Chief engineer and VW brand board member Ulrich Hackenberg told us over lunch that it’s not only a matter of finding the highest-capacity cells at the lowest cost but also of mass production capabilities, the latter, he says, not being truly feasible until 2013. What a timely coincidence….

The current single-speed transmission employed in various forms on VW Group electric and hybrid projects is called EQ 210, and in this case, it uses a sky-high short ratio of 9.8:1 in order to get most all of the electric motor’s promised 184 pound-feet of torque to the ground instantaneously from zero rpm. That the Golf Blue-e-motion at 3,410 pounds and with such normal power and torque numbers can haul itself to 60 mph in “just” 11.6 seconds is a testament to this proprietary transmission mounted directly to the stage-left side of the electric motor. Talk about grace under pressure.

The key to experiencing all of the tree-hugging capabilities of the eGolf, however, is not to keep showing your three pals in the car with you how this thing lays rubber to 60 miles per hour from a stop. There are three drive “profiles” for forward progress – Normal, Comfort+, and Range+, selected via a button in front of the faux-leather skirted shift lever. In Normal and Comfort+ modes, you will not experience the stated possible 93.2-mile range from the 26.5-kWh battery assembly. This distance – as well as the stated distances coming from pies in the sky at any other manufacturer – is sheer delirium. You’ll be really lucky on a normal urban day (i.e. ideal conditions) to see 50 miles before crumbling under the stress of range anxiety. All battery-based drive systems allow the batteries to get only as low as 20 percent remaining charge before shutting down operations, too, so “empty” really isn’t empty, but more for safety so that all electrical engineers the world over can sleep better at night.

It’s so charming that VW has left the ESP Off button on this Golf. We know that it’s for when it might be bogged in mud or other low-traction impasses, but if you’re trying to get the Golf blue-e-motion into controlled slides, just forget it. Between the 50:50 neutrality of the weight distribution, the plumpness of that curb weight, and the generally un-sporty behavior of the car in anything resembling a slalom, all dreams of smoking tires and mayhem must be set aside for the good of the planet. Such is the story for all electric vehicles around and below this segment of the market – at least for now.

As a drive experience, nothing about the Golf Blue-e-motion surprises a lot. This is their proposal of this type of plug-in, it’s quite a capable piece of work and VW is waiting until higher-capacity lithium-ion cells come into real mass production in 2013 – conceivably just to make the price competitive with the Chevrolet Volt/Opel-Vauxhall Ampera. The hatch’s current v-max is not terribly interstate-friendly at 84 mph and your overall range would become anxious very quickly then anyways. The proposed VW Blue-e-motion models are, like the Nissan Leaf, confined strictly to the city or suburbs thereof.

The concept of variable kinetic brake energy recuperation is a good one, and on the Golf it goes in stages from minimum to maximum – D, D1, D2, D3 with the left DSG paddle, reverse order using the right paddle. We feel the greater resistance (i.e. recuperation) mostly in D1 and into D2, while D is barely felt and D3 doesn’t feel that much greater than D2. The B of the console shift lever is a quick way to reach maximum recuperation while approaching all those stops, or while snaking down the famous one-block stretch of San Francisco’s Lombard Street.

With the Nissan Leaf or Golf Blue-e-motion, the full EV is a necessary changer of one’s driving habits. Unless you are an intensely fastidious and sensible person and never drive too far, a sophisticated EV like the eGolf cannot be your only car. Chances are it will be the second or third car in most driveways.

The recharger cable for these eGolf prototypes are European 380-volt monsters that can do a full recharge in about 2.5 hours, but only under closely watched conditions due to any potential Godzilla-wrecks-the-power-station risks. A complete recharge from empty to maximize the next drive’s range will take a frustrating 15-ish hours with a 110-volt U.S. plug, dropping to six hours or so if you rewire your garage to 220 volts. Volkswagen’s e-mobility group is lobbying with others around the world to get a safe infrastructure standard for 300-to-400-volt quick-charge stations where we can all “fill up” in around 30 minutes. You can notice that, among the many bits VW is still experimenting with, VW is toying with the good idea of letting plug-in operations occur via the front-center VW badge or via the typical fuel cap position. It’s one more benefit of an electric car’s possibilities.

Without getting into too much detail, the VW Remote iPhone application is pretty ingenious stuff allowing you to monitor your Blue-e-motion’s recharge progress, current charge levels, interior temperature and possible range depending on your intended journey (which you can send to your car’s sat-nav prior to setting out). The possibilities of smartphone-to-car interactivity are numerous. We’re just at the beginning of this innovation phase, but already the apps are convincingly intuitive and actually helpful to maximizing one’s busy life.

So far as how forward progress feels when choosing Normal, Comfort+, or Range+, in the default Normal mode the EMU lets the system use up to 87 hp and all feels pretty normal around town. In Comfort+ – a questionable name since it’s more about power and not comfort – we got the full overboost of 114 hp when needed, even attempting a couple overtake maneuvers that proved slightly comical, though doable. Drop into Range+, and total power on tap is set at 67 hp, which is the steady-state power while cruising anywhere, or “sailing” as they all enjoy telling us. We are reminded of this latter mode from every start, if only because we were wondering if the VW would ever start moving forward. Pedal to the metal time, kids – an action that only helped things a little.

The modified plan is to have 250 Golf Blue-e-motion units in a test fleet distributed between Wolfsburg and Berlin by May of this year. For the United States, a small fleet will begin testing on both coasts in early 2012 – 10 cars kept at VW’s Westlake, California, facility and 10 kept in New York City.

According to Herr Hackenberg, the production Golf Blue-e-motion will hit the market in Western Europe in 2013 and in the U.S. and China in 2014, but it won’t actually be a for-sale car, remaining instead a lease-only proposal. This is disappointing, but then it was explained why. VW just doesn’t wholly believe in the commercial viability of selling pure EVs on any significant scale. What they envision as a greater strategy is the Toyota Prius-like parallel plug-in hybrid with an ever greater battery energy-holding capacity for greater and greater range and efficiency, plus a dedicated internal combustion engine for the application versus the boat anchor-like normal engines currently used by many. They don’t believe in the case for series-type EVs with extended range internal combustion motors since they have not proven terribly efficient setups in the end, as many initial readings on the Chevrolet Volt have made clear.

We’re in a period, then, where we cannot wait to see what undoubtedly state-of-the-art configuration VW comes out with for the Golf Blue-e-motion and other models, as the multinational perches above the current EV and extended-range frenzy, waiting for the right moment to do it with intelligence. VW may not be the first into the game, but they want to arrive ready to play hardball. Are they learning from the Koreans? They’d never admit to it.

The future awaits.

originally appeared on Autoblog March 21,2011

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A look at VW’s battery research lab

Tesla’s cofounder Martin Eberhard heads VW’s lab in Palo Alto which researches batteries.  Using laptop type lithium ion batteries, he is able to make a 200 mile range full EV Golf and Audi e-tron with a 300 mile range.  Toyota is also looking at using laptop type batteries for their car through the researchers at Tesla.

How soon will it be before a VW electric vehicle or Golf hybrid comes along?

The first car that VW has confirmed is the 2012 VW Jetta hybrid.  Specs are still under wraps but it should be a nice preview of the Golf full EV or VW’s next full electric vehicle.

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Golf Blue-e-motion full EV may get BYD batteries

According to the October 2010 Car and Driver, lithium ion batteries from Sanyo and Toshiba are in short supply so VW is looking to BYD to supply batteries.

BYD is not a no-name company.  Although their name isn’t very creative, (their auto division stands for Build Your Dreams), it’s the Chinese car company that Warren Buffet bought 10% of.  Since 2003 when they entered the car market, their revenues have gone from about 0.5 billion to 4 billion.  They initially began as a company supplying batteries for cell phones as substitutes for more expensive Japanese parts and was the first company to sell a production plug-in hybrid.  My main criticism of the company is that the styling has been a rip off of other, more well known companies.   When I say rip off, I don’t mean derivative, I mean the styling is a 95% directly copied from other models.   One example is the BYD F8 (google it).

If BYD wants to move beyond supplying components for other cars and come to North America, they better steal the stylists from their competitors instead of just stealing their styles.

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VW reveals aggressive hybrid rollout

VW will stay with TDI for the near future for the reasons mentioned in this post: but if VW wants to be the world’s biggest automaker they need to explore all markets.  One of them is hybrid cars.

“During a press conference last week at its Electronics Research Lab in Palo Alto, California, Volkswagen chairman Dr. Martin Winterkorn repeated the company’s electrified slogan: “In the future, the heart of Volkswagen will also beat with electricity.” souce: hybridcars.  VW’s goal for EV,  hybrid, or plug in cars is 3% by 2018.

Here are the planned Volkswagen auto group hybrids:
2011 VW Touareg hybrid and 2011 Porsche Cayenne S hybrid (already here)
2012 VW Jetta hybrid
2013 VW Passat (or whatever the NMS new midsize sedan for North America will be called) hybrid
unknown: Porsche 918 hybrid supercar
unknown: Golf Blue e motion hybrid or Up! hybrid

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