Archive for category VW Jetta hybrid

VW reconfirms Jetta hybrid for 2012, boasts “best-in-class” MPG rating

Reconfirming what we already knew, Volkswagen product strategist Toscan Bennet announced that a hybrid version of the sixth-generation Jetta is definitely on the way and on schedule for a 2012 launch date. Bennet said:

VW as a brand takes the electrification of the automobile very seriously, and we have a longtime strategy for growing that business. The Jetta hybrid is our first entry in that strategy.

During the NYC debut of the new Jetta, Bennet made it clear that the company is shooting for “best-in-class” mileage ratings for the hybrid version of its new sedan. VW doesn’t mean Prius-like numbers here, but beating the Honda Civic Hybrid sounds about right. VW admits that the Prius defines classes and resides alone as the hybrid mileage champ. Rather than aspire to the Prius numbers of 51 miles per gallon city and 48 mpg highway, VW is more conservatively shooting to surpass the marks of 40 mpg city and 45 mpg highway set by the hybrid Civic. Combine the high mileage targets with price cuts found throughout the new Jetta lineup and VW may have a hybrid hit on its hands soon.

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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, GreenCarReports.com 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 PlugInCars.com.

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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Don’t look at the additional price of hybrid vs. fuel savings

One common complaint of hybrids is that they cost more and that it will take too long to recoup that price premium in fuel savings.  This is faulty logic because  much of the price premium is recouped during resale.  The cost to own something is not the purchase price, it’s the depreciation.

As an example, if the price premium to buy a VW Jetta hybrid is $2500, when it comes time for resale the desirability of the car is undiminished and could sell for $1500 over the price of a regular Jetta.  Therefore, the additional cost to own the hybrid is only $1000 plus opportunity cost/interest of the cash.  Federal tax credits have ended but when they were giving out money to buy fuel efficient cars or giving sales tax exemptions, it was a no brainier to buy a more fuel efficient car.

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2012 VW Jetta hybrid mpg best in class?

The new style VW Jetta are being delivered in Canada now.  What about the VW hybrid Jetta?

Volkswagen product strategist Toscan Bennet said that the VW Jetta hybrid will have best in class fuel economy.  Because it won’t be based off a Chevy Volt type 99% electric drive with a gas engine for range assist or a Prius type parallel hybrid, the VW Jetta hybrid will probably have fuel economy similar to other hybrids like from Honda.  Nissan licenses Toyota’s Prius hybrid technology but VW has developed the VW hybrid Jetta drivetrain on their own.

While technical details aren’t yet known, it’s a very good bet that it will use mostly existing parts out of the parts bin.  Therefore, I’m hoping that it will have a 1.4L twincharge engine with an electric motor between the gas engine and the transmission.  The 1.4L twincharge engine has both a supercharger and a turbocharger.  While it’s not sold in North America, I’ve seen it in cars when abroad and it’s small enough to fit tidily in the engine bay and still accommodate additional hardware.  They can make up to around 170 hp so combined with the electric motor, it should have around 185-190 hp.  The 1.4L twincharge engine has about 180 lb-ft of torque and when combined with the electric motor, it should have around 230 lb-ft of torque.  More importantly, the electric motor provides all that power at the bottom of the power band where the small displacement engine is weakest.

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