Archive for category Blue-e-motion

Thinking about buying the VW all electric e-Golf

My driving style has changed in the last year and I no longer drive my VW Jetta TDI as much.  I usually put around 10,000 miles/year on it around town and in regular long trips.  Now I mostly drive it around town with only a few occasional longer trips.

I test drove the Chevy Volt and loved the fact that it was on battery most of the time – this meant no gas use at all except when I exceeded the 35 miles of battery range.  The new all electric e-Golf will be a similar setup, only using the battery until you run out of battery range (it never fully drains or recharges the battery to preserve battery lifespan).  I’d consider a used Chevy Volt but they’re holding their resale pretty well and I don’t like the idea that the previous owner keeps the huge tax credits – this hasn’t pressed down resale right now.  I have no idea how the e-Golf will handle but I’m sure it’ll be significantly heavier than the regular Golf which will hurt it as well.

The big factor will be price – how much will it cost after tax credits, if the tax credits are still available?  An average Golf TDI costs around $26-27,000 new which is expensive compared to cars in its class (although I believe it’s at the top of the class), and all the battery and motor equipment plus a generator motor could make its price well over $40,000.

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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 up! specs and test drive


Big old Volkswagen is back to thinking small, and it’s finally doing it right. After two frankly awful attempts at supplying the rest of the world with cheap tin boxes called Fox and Lupo, company bosses have done some soul searching and this is the result: a tiny road warrior that’s absolutely worthy of the 6.3-inch wide emblem on its grill.

It might seem like only yesterday, but the Up! was first shown as a concept back in the pre-crisis days of 2007 at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Talk about fortuitous timing, because this 2+2 three-door minicar is exactly the sort of car that much of economically stunned Europe is craving nowadays. We all, Euro or Yank, want as much premium feel in our cars as cheaply as possible, and this is exactly why the little Up! is destined to clobber The Continent’s vast field of city cars.

We’ve just spent 12 days in a top-trim Up! White Edition driving around in what certainly will be one of the car’s major markets: the piratical, everyone-for-themselves streets of Milan, Italy. With our American brainset, at first we thought, “Yeah, it’s really cute and useful, well built and all, but…” That qualifying “but” was just because the Up! is so small in every dimension save front seat room. As we would come to learn over our dozen days, with an all-new 1.0-liter, 74-horsepower three-cylinder and a serviceable five-speed manual, this little bugger can be a little roll-y in tight curves taken with any spirit, but she sure is fun

After a day of using the Up! to drive around the Lombard capitol, however, our concerns all but evaporated. We quickly came to love the way this tiny hatch sliced and diced through Italy’s notoriously heinous traffic while rewarding us with truly premium quality steering and over-the-road feel. The cabin was surprisingly purr-quiet and throttling and braking was accomplished with far more aplomb than any of its competitors – including the Fiat 500. The 500 provides an almost spot-on comparison to the Up! in our fancier trim, though the Marchionne special would absolutely suffer a loss when comparing cabins. As for the Smart ForTwo, the Up! destroys it handily, and you can bet that Daimler’s suits are extremely concerned. Italian cities are by far the ForTwo’s best markets, and it was impossible not to notice how many bystanders ogled our extremely white VW. Every time we stopped, we were bombarded with questions and nothing but positive comments.

Riding atop VW’s latest front-engine, front-wheel-drive small car architecture dubbed MQB, VW’s stated wet but unloaded weight for our Up! is a scant 2,072 pounds. Before you start with the “death trap” comments, let it be known that this thing just passed the toughest Euro NCAP crash tests with a full five-star rating, so it’s one Mighty Mouse. The transversely mounted naturally aspirated triple-cylinder engine is capable of regularly returning 50 miles per gallon without trying too hard, either.

Space up front for two passengers is nothing short of huge, with seats that can slide way back to accommodate the leggiest of basketball stars. Another big plus is the crystal-clear visibility all around through the car’s acoustically optimized five-layer glass. Those easy-access doors are a whopping 51.2 inches long and they can open wide to around an 80-degree angle. Some body twisting is necessary in tight parking conditions, but at the curb, it’s an easy step up and out as though you’re exiting a Rolls-Royce. The rearview mirror – an often underappreciated appendage – is big and rectangular to let the driver see out of the big and rectangular rear glass. How nice.

This is the first application of the three-cylinder member of VW’s new EA211 engine clan in any real volume, and it’s utterly quiet – even under stiffer throttle. Both two-cylinder and three-cylinder engines tend to have a surprisingly civilized sound to them when done properly, and this all-aluminum unit emits a soothing baritone note while cruising; when you hit the gas, the sound grows like there’s a big strong guy curled up under the hood.

Space up front for two passengers is nothing short of huge, with seats that can slide way back to accommodate the leggiest of basketball stars. Another big plus is the crystal-clear visibility all around through the car’s acoustically optimized five-layer glass. Those easy-access doors are a whopping 51.2 inches long and they can open wide to around an 80-degree angle. Some body twisting is necessary in tight parking conditions, but at the curb, it’s an easy step up and out as though you’re exiting a Rolls-Royce. The rearview mirror – an often underappreciated appendage – is big and rectangular to let the driver see out of the big and rectangular rear glass. How nice.

This is the first application of the three-cylinder member of VW’s new EA211 engine clan in any real volume, and it’s utterly quiet – even under stiffer throttle. Both two-cylinder and three-cylinder engines tend to have a surprisingly civilized sound to them when done properly, and this all-aluminum unit emits a soothing baritone note while cruising; when you hit the gas, the sound grows like there’s a big strong guy curled up under the hood.
While all of the VW’s dimensions and mechanicals effortlessly showed the world around us how a minicar should be built, our White Edition benefited from top-of-the-line 16-inch alloys and Continental ContiPremiumContact2 treads – 185/50 R16 81T all around. All four contact patches worked overtime to nail every line we chose through busy northern Italy. Of course, if this Up! White Edition does make it to the States, it will probably cost somewhere just north of $13,000. But, as ever, you pay for what you get, right?

Our tester carried the current top power specification available for the three-cylinder, meaning 74 hp at its 6,200-rpm redline and 70 pound-feet of torque from 3,000 rpm. You’ll find 60 mph in around 13.0 seconds flat and a 107 mph top speed – typical figures for cars of this ilk. That might seem slow, but as we hinted earlier, once our American smoky burnout-mindset cooled its jets and we drove more like a real Up! owner might, the real glory of the VW became clear. In truth, this is the first actual premium A-segment car that completely convinces us. The Fiat 500 may be cuter, but the material quality choices throughout just can’t compare to a similarly priced Up!

The VW’s rear seats are nigh on useless but for the wee ones, though there is huge headroom and shoulder room in back – something else that cannot be said of the 500. Baggage space with all seats up is just 8.9 cubic feet, becoming 12.0 or so when removing the rear floor panel and dropping it down. Folding the rear seatbacks is a cinch and they lay flat to help create an eminently usable 33.6 cubic feet.

Of course, the only manner in which Volkswagen – or anyone – can make money on smallies like the Up! is to build them in countries that can produce high volumes with less overhead, and the Up! is indeed built at VW’s state-of-the-art facility in Bratislava, Slovakia – the same facility that makes not only the larger Polo, but also the Volkswagen Touareg, Audi Q7 and the Porsche Cayenne trio.

Will the Up! ever get over to the USA and Canada to start a small battle with the ForTwo and 500? We thought about that every day we zipped through the city, and we have to say that it’d be really tough to justify the business case, especially considering how those two vehicles are(n’t) selling in the States. Given that VW never even brought the Polo over, why would they leapfrog down a notch and bring over this car? If, however, this were to happen sometime, the powertrain would be probably need to be a turbocharged version of the three-cylinder inspired by the Up! GT concept shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show – hopefully good for more power than the Stateside Fiat 500′s 101 hp and 98 lb-ft of torque. Plus, the four-door Up! we saw as the Cross Up! Concept in Frankfurt has already been confirmed, and that model would seemingly help build a U.S. business case a bit.

The Up! starts deliveries in Europe in late February. Two Volkswagen subsidiaries, SEAT in Spain and Škoda in the Czech Republic, will be building sister cars along this identical theme – the Mii and the Citigo, respectively.

If Fiat could afford to put together something more along the lines of the quality substance levels we find in this stylish Up!, maybe more Americans would be buying the Italian mouse that isn’t roaring like Turin thought it would. Barring that, we’re hoping that VW considers the Up! as an opportunity to rekindle its reputation for (very) small car excellence here in the U.S.
posted on autoblog

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Blue-e-motion Golf EV hybrid and Up! confirmed to use li-ion batteries

According to an Autocar interview with Martin Eberhard, VW hybrids and EV will all use lithium ion batteries instead of the nickel metal hydride batteries used in current hybrids and EV.  Martin Eberhard was one of the founders of Tesla who is now electric vehicle engineering director at Volkswagen’s Electronics Research Laboratory.  He said that

“Our biggest projects at the moment are the development of the lithium-ion battery packs for Volkswagen’s Blue-e-motion Golf, the E-Up city car and the Audi e-tron. We’re working exclusively with ‘18650’-type lithium-ion cells. They’re the same size as the ones you’ll find in most laptop computer battery packs; that’s why they’re referred to as ‘consumer cells’…To illustrate the point, the lithium-ion cells we’re currently working with contain 2.9 amp-hours of power; five years ago the ones we were using at Tesla only had 1.4 amp-hours. That rate of development has already had an impact on the cars we’re working on. The batteries we used in the original Audi e-tron prototype, for example, gave it 60kWh of power and a range of just over 150 miles….But with the 3.4 amp-hour cells we’re about to take delivery of, it should have 100kWh and do close to 300 miles on a charge.”

This is a big step towards moving to greater use of hybrid and all electric EV because the main obstacle to widespread use of the cars is cost, consumer acceptance, and limited range.  According to the interview, Eberhard predicts a greater than 500 mile range for EV within 10 years.  How about 6?

source: autocar

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VW test fleet of Golf Blue e motion full EV

Initial Facts: Golf blue-e-motion – Presentation at Foundation Event for a “National Platform for Electric Mobility”
Volkswagen Presents Golf blue-e-motion Concept to German Chancellor

Golf powered by zero-emissions electric motor to launch in 2013
Golf blue-e-motion with 150 km range will also satisfy driving needs of commuters
Wolfsburg / Berlin, 03 May 2010 – Today, German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel will have a close look at a concept of the future Golf blue-e-motion in Berlin. Volkswagen is forging new links to the era of electric mobility with this pure electric drive version of the most successful European car ever produced. In 2013, after the debut of the Up blue-e-motion (a new city specialist), the Golf blue-e-motion and the technically closely-related Jetta blue-e-motion will launch on the market. In the same timeframe, the Lavida blue-e-motion will also launch in China. The stated objective: Volkswagen wants to use bestsellers such as the Golf to take electric vehicles out of their niche model status and to become the market leader for a new type of sustainable mobility by 2018. This strategy coincides with planning by the German federal government, which would like to see about one million electric vehicles on the streets by 2020.

Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG: “Future electric cars give us enormous opportunities for reshaping mobility to be even more sustainable. When it comes to the environment, however, we must ensure that the energy used to operate these electric cars is produced from renewable sources. Since automotive manufacturers do not have any influence on the types of power plants that are built, the federal government must ensure that eco-friendly energy sources are utilised. Only then will we experience a genuine transition to a new era.”

In parallel with the electric vehicle offensive, Volkswagen is accelerating the introduction of new hybrid models as well. The new Touareg Hybrid is already on the market; in 2012 a hybrid version of the Jetta will debut, then in 2013 the Golf Hybrid and Passat Hybrid will launch. Just as methodically, Volkswagen will continue its development work on advanced and extremely efficient petrol, diesel and natural gas engines (TDI, TSI, EcoFuel), because it is an indisputable fact that a wide variety of drive technologies will coexist far into the future. “This makes it all the more important for the German federal government to proactively support the introduction of new technologies. With regard to electric mobility, the current temporary exemption of E-cars from taxes is inadequate,” says Prof. Dr. Winterkorn. The Volkswagen chief continues: “Starting in 2013 – the launch year for many new electric vehicles – the purchase of cars with zero-emissions drive systems should be promoted with a sustainability incentive. France, for example, has already pledged a cash incentive of several thousand Euros to buyers. We need to send such a signal in Germany as well. Moreover, and this is no less important, the German federal government must very quickly make provisions for broad coverage with a network of recharging stations across the republic, so that the infrastructure is available at the same time the electric car offensive is launched. Each new recharging station will also reinforce the public’s trust in the everyday utility of electric vehicles. Both of these components – state-funded incentives and infrastructure – are crucial and cannot endure any delay.”

Golf blue-e-motion concept car – highly anticipated

The Golf blue-e-motion concept being presented to German Chancellor Angela Merkel will be powered by an electric motor integrated in the engine compartment in front, and its power of 85 kW / 115 PS drives the car silently. Like all electric motors, the motor used in the Golf also outputs a very high maximum torque (270 Newton-meter) right from a stop. The result: more fun in zero-emissions driving. The electricity for driving the electric motor is stored in a lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 26.5 kilowatt-hours.

A driving range of up to 150 kilometres can be realised in the Golf blue-e-motion; the specific range depends on driving style and factors such as use of the air conditioning and heating system. This range meets the needs of most German commuters: According to the German Federal Statistical Office, 6 of every 10 people in the workforce commute by car – on average 45.8 percent drive less than 10 kilometres (one-way commute), another 28.1 percent between 10 and 25 kilometres and 16.2 percent over 25 kilometres. The Golf blue-e-motion can also handle the driving ranges typically covered by many service providers. In short-distance driving, the zero-emissions Golf offers a sustainable solution to private users as well.

More noticeably than on today’s modern petrol or diesel engines, the maximum range of an electric car is severely reduced when its maximum power is demanded frequently. However, the Golf blue-e-motion – with its top speed of 140 km/h – provides ample power reserves so that less energy is consumed while driving, and it can even coast or “sail”. “Sailing” occurs whenever the driver – adopting an anticipatory style of driving – releases the gas pedal, or more apropos: the electric pedal. As in the drive system of the Touareg Hybrid, which is being produced today, the motor is then is disengaged from the drivetrain so that the car can coast with the least possible drag. The Golf blue-e-motion even recovers kinetically generated energy by battery regeneration in this mode of driving.

Adapted to the vehicle’s architecture, the concept car’s battery unit is located in the bootspace (useful remaining cargo capacity: 237 litres), under the rear bench seat and in the centre tunnel (between the front seats). A separate air cooling system ensures a constant thermal environment in the battery compartment.

As mentioned, all key primary and secondary drive components were integrated in the engine compartment at the front of the vehicle. In coming up with this design, developers applied experience they gained in numerous design studies. As in the E-Up concept car, an integral form of electric drive is used in the Golf blue-e-motion. Representing the core of the integral drive are the electric motor together with a transmission and differential. Energy management is handled by a high-voltage pulse-controlled inverter, which – along with the 12 Volt electrical system’s DC/DC converter and charging module – is integrated in the compact integral drive. The entire unit is relatively light and compact. The five-door and five-seat Golf blue-e-motion, for example, weighs just 205 kilograms more than a comparable Golf BlueMotion TDI with DSG – despite the fact that electric car batteries are known to be heavy and weigh 1,545 kilograms on the concept car.

Next year, Volkswagen will be testing the drivetrain and energy storage modules of the future Golf blue-e-motion with a fleet of 500 test cars – under all conceivable conditions. Essentially, the countdown to production launch of the future Golf blue-e-motion has already begun. The future is almost here, especially in Germany, because this is where one million electric vehicles will be on the roads starting in 2020 – this goal was resolved by the German federal government on August 2009 and is established in the “National Development Plan for Electric Mobility.” A long road lies ahead of us until 2020, especially since battery costs certainly need to be drastically reduced. However, another certainty is that a large number of the one million electric vehicles of the year 2020 will wear the VW badge.

Golf blue-e-motion Concept Car – Technical Data

Dimensions

Length 4,199 mm

Width 1,786 mm

Height 1,480 mm

Wheelbase 2,575 mm

Drive System Drive type Electric motor

Power (max. / continuous) 85 kW / 50 kW

Max. torque 270 Nm

Transmission / Tyres

Transmission  EQ 210 (1-gear transmission)

Final drive type

Front-wheel drive

Tyre size

205/55 R16

Driving Performance

0-100 km/h

11.8 s

Top speed

140 km/h

CO2 emissions with electricity generated from renewable sources

source: VW press release

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VW Blue e motion hybrids planned for 2012 2013

To the Point: 2010 E-Workshop, Shanghai: Volkswagen Presents the Mobility of Tomorrow

blue-e-motion versions of the Up!, Golf and Lavida open windows to the future
Touareg Hybrid is already showing the way to the world of tomorrow

Wolfsburg / Shanghai, 07 June 2010 – One of the central questions of humankind is: What will our lives be like tomorrow? There were ages in which the present had but few answers to this question. The situation is different in the 21st century. People have a precise idea of the future: They know that climate protection will continue to increase in importance; they know that fossil fuels will not be available indefinitely; and they know that the mobility of tomorrow will not be able to get by without new zero-emissions drive systems. Yet, even in the year 2010 this future is seldom experienced directly in the real world. Mobility, and with it the automobile, offers one of the few windows to the world of tomorrow. That is because the automobile is facing a transition to a new era. For decades, petrol and diesel engines were the defining drive types, but in the near future part-electric (hybrid) and full-electric cars will join them.

It is in this context that Volkswagen – the most successful car maker in China – is presenting five automobiles in Shanghai that give a presence to the future. Three of them are united by a new label for zero-emissions mobility: blue-e-motion. The Up! blue-e-motion concept car shows how the electrically driven city specialist of tomorrow will look. In this case, “tomorrow” is already beginning in 2013. That is the launch date for the production version of the Up! blue-e-motion. The Golf blue-e-motion – the electric version of the most successful car in the world – confirms the suspicion that pure electric cars will also find a place in mass production. Last but not least, the Lavida blue-e-motion – developed in China – clearly shows that Volkswagen will naturally be producing electric vehicles tailored to the needs of the world’s most significant automotive market. The Golf blue-e-motion will also debut as production versions in 2013, the Lavida blue-e-motion will follow soon after. Looking even further ahead, there is the Passat Lingyu with a hydrogen fuel cell, also designed in China in a joint venture with the Tongji University. This saloon is still a pure research vehicle. Yet, the zero-emissions four-door shows how Volkswagen is researching all conceivable approaches to the mobility of tomorrow. Already part of the today’s world is the new Touareg Hybrid – one of the first genuine off-road hybrid all-wheel drive vehicles; it is very likely the most advanced SUV in the world.

The range of these five vehicles shows how multifaceted the automobile future will be. Whether the pure electric car is in the style of the Up!, Golf or Lavida, the fact remains that if it is to conquer the world in a big way it must be affordable. Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG, comments: “To be a resounding success, the electric car must be affordable for a wide range of people and must be uncompromisingly practical in everyday use. Only then – at high production volumes and if possible on all continents – can one truly speak of the beginning of the era of the electric automobile and of measurable positive effects on the environment.”

Volkswagen is building new bridges to the era of electric mobility with pure electrically powered versions of the Up!, Golf and Lavida – which in their production versions will be the affordable, mass-produced electric cars of tomorrow, provided that there is sufficient governmental support. Volkswagen’s declared goal: The high-tech brand wants to take electric vehicles out of their status as niche models with bestsellers in the mould of the Golf to establish itself as the market leader for a new type of sustainable mobility by the year 2018. In Germany, for example, plans by the federal government call for about one million electric cars to be driving on the roads by 2020.

Once again, Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG: “Future electric cars give us enormous opportunities for shaping mobility to be more sustainable. In the interest of the environment, however, we must ensure that the energy for operating these electric cars is generated from renewable sources. Since automotive manufacturers have no influence on types of power plants, governments must assure the utilisation of environmentally-friendly energy sources. Only then will we experience a historical turning point.”

In parallel to the electric vehicle offensive, Volkswagen is systematically moving forward with the introduction of new hybrid models. Already being sold on the European market is the Touareg Hybrid now appearing in Shanghai; in 2012 a hybrid version of the Jetta will debut, followed by the Golf Hybrid and Passat Hybrid in 2013. Just as systematically, Volkswagen will continue advanced development of its extremely efficient petrol, diesel and natural gas engines (TDI, TSI, EcoFuel), since it is an indisputable fact that there will definitely be a coexistence of a wide variety of drive technologies until far into the future. Also indisputable is the fact that the present, in the year 2010, offers more answers to the future than ever before. Shanghai – the Expo city – and Volkswagen are proving this in a fascinating way.

source: Volkswagen

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VW plans to release a full electric EV Golf Blue e motion by 2013

VW has to establish a foothold in the hybrid and EV market to be a worldwide player.  The first model was the 2011 VW Touareg TDI which goes on sale later this year.  They also plan to sell a 2012 VW Jetta hybrid and release either a full electric Golf or Up! for 2013.

They are taking their time but hybrid drive is relatively new to VW, which insisted on TDI technology.   About 50% of all cars sold in Europe are diesels so TDI was guaranteed a large market.  About 5 billion Euros (about 6.4 billion US dollars) is spent by VW each year on research and development.  So far, the planned name for VW EV technology will be Blue -e- motion.

[source:sfgate.com]

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