VW plans to hybridize and electrify its volume passenger cars beginning in 2012.
Jon Yanca - CARANDDRIVER
- May 3, 2010
Can VW catch up? --Ed.
After previously clinging to diesel power over battery-assisted propulsion as the go-to green technology, the winds have shifted at the HQs of German automakers like BMW, Audi, even Porsche, and it appears as though that country’s largest-volume marquee now is feeling the same vibe. Volkswagen is re-affirming plans to add hybrid variants of the Jetta in 2012, followed by the Golf and Passat a year later. But that’s not all, as VeeDub also says it will offer a fully electric Golf and Jetta soon after the arrival of the electric Up! city car in 2013.
Having just launched the 2011 Touareg hybrid as the brand’s first gas-electric entry, Volkswagen says it now wants to concentrate its electrification efforts on volume sellers, which it thinks should help elevate EVs from niche status to mainstream. VW also says it’s behind the German government’s (somewhat questionable) plan to see one million electric vehicles on German roads by 2020. Using the popular Golf and Jetta as the framework, VW is banking on these electric models to help pad its scorecard in the race to become the world’s largest automaker.
As part of the announcement, Volkswagen showed a concept version of the electrified Golf, dubbed Golf blue-e-motion, that’s based on the current car. (The production model expected in 2013 likely will be based on the forthcoming Golf VII.) In its current form, it uses an electric motor producing 114 hp and 199 lb-ft of torque. With a 26.5-kWh lithium-ion battery that takes up space under the rear seat and in the center tunnel and cargo hold, VW says the Golf will retain about 8.4 cubic feet of its 15 cubes of cargo space. Like with the Mini E, that’s a significant loss in load volume, jeopardizing the hatchback versatility that we so... [Read More]