Plug-in electric version of best-selling hatchback wil make production in 2013; 93 mile range
4 May 2010

Volkswagen has revealed a new plug-in electric version of the Golf.

Called the Golf blue-e-motion, it previews the zero emission driveline and lithium-ion battery technology VW intends to place in a production version of the new car that its chairman, Martin Winterkorn, says will go on sale in Germany and other key markets, including the UK, in 2013.

The Golf blue-e-motion forms part of a broad based electric vehicle offensive made official by the German car maker that will see similarly configured versions of the Mexican-built Volkswagen Jetta and Chinese market Volkswagen Lavida also go on sale in 2013.

Before they arrive, however, Volkswagen plans to kick off its electric car offensive with the introduction of the Up blue-e-motion. This is a car described by Winterkorn as a “city specialist” and was previewed in concept car form at last year’s Frankfurt motor show.

While based on today’s sixth-generation Golf, the showroom version of the blue-e-motion, unveiled by German chancellor, Angela Merkel, in Berlin today, is planned to form part of the seventh-generation Golf line-up that will begin heading into UK showrooms the same year.

Mounted up front in the space normally taken up by the Golf’s petrol or diesel engines is an 115bhp electric motor. It drives the front wheels through a new single gear gearbox developed by Volkswagen called the MQ210.

Electric power for the motor is provided by a lithium-ion battery pack mounted within the middle tunnel of the floorpan, under the rear seat and in the floor of the boot. With a capacity of 26.5kWh it is claimed to provide a nominal range of 93miles. In a process similar to that introduced on the new Touareg hybrid, the Golf blue-e-motion uses a separate clutch that automatically decouples its electric motor on a trailing throttle to provide what Volkswagen describes as “sailing effect” with little mechanical drag.

At 1545kg, the Golf blue-e-motion weighs 305kg more than the existing Golf 1.6 TDI BlueMotion. However, Volkswagen says it hits 62mph from standstill in 11.8sec and reaches a top speed that, in the interests of retaining battery charge, is limited to 87mph.

Volkswagen says it intends producing a fleet of up to 500 prototype versions of the Golf blue-e-motion for internal testing before the production version arrives in 2013.

In a parallel program to its new electric car offensive, Volkswagen is also working on a new range of hybrid models. Initiated with the new Touareg hybrid, it will be widened to include a Jetta hybrid in 2012 as well as a Golf hybrid and Passat hybrid in 2013, according to Winterkorn.

Greg Kable

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Comments
30

3 May 2010

Does anyone recall the scene in 'Demolition Man' where Wesley Snipes' character blows up a police car with one of those electric truncheons? The fuel for that car was some sort of capacitance gel... Have any companies persued that idea or was that based on early research into hydrogen fuel cell technology?
The use of batteries seems to be an inconvenient stop-gap that limit, hinder & restrict the use of a vehicle.

3 May 2010

a 1545kgs 115bhp golf.

now that is not progress....

for the same price i would rather have a normal golf and £15k worth of petrol vouchers. which would last me about 20 years of ownership.

3 May 2010

[quote beachland2]

a 1545kgs 115bhp golf.

now that is not progress....

for the same price i would rather have a normal golf and £15k worth of petrol vouchers. which would last me about 20 years of ownership.

[/quote] I feel about 99% of the population agree about this. Its is pathetic the apparent technology going into these cars. What car companies, governments etc seem to forget is that the whole country would need to have in place an electrical infrastructure that i just dont see getting built or introduced. Tax the public to the sky over something they have no say in. Bloody brilliant.

3 May 2010

Still a while of I think

Car in picture - Volkswagen Golf Gt Tdi 140 S-a

3 May 2010

Another wasteful distraction from the real task of finding properly sustainable and practical transport solutions. Electrifying normal cars (as opposed to purpose-built electric cars with narrow-section tyres, better aerodynamics and lower weights) is doubly bonkers for the reasons hinted at by VW themselves, ie the draining effect of the friction that needs to be overcome in a regular car just to get it moving. Quoting a 93-mile range sounds highly bogus. Even if it were true, it's not good enough for practical use. But it won't be true in the real world. All the ranges quoted for electric cars like these have so far been as accurate as the official mpg figures that nobody can achieve. Manufacturers should be forced to state the conditions under which these ranges are achieved, and the Govt – a blatant apologist for electric cars – should make them quote ranges in a worst-case scenario (ie at night, in winter, with lights, wipers, AC and ICE all running) – just like we've got at the moment with the extremes of urban and extra-urban mpg figures. The 'sailing' reference is interesting. They're talking about reducing friction here, obviously, and that's a good thing. But why don't we take it literally and develop computer-operated auto aerodynamics in a positive way so that cars can pick up energy from the wind?

3 May 2010

VW's decision to decouple the clutch on the overrun is also interesting. VW has clearly decided that battery-regeneration benefits under braking or slowing down are notional at best, and in any case less than the simple benefits of letting the car run on unhindered by excess friction. Takes me back to my childhood and my old bicycle that had a bottle dynamo on the front wheel. It spent most of its life away from the rim as it really seemed to inhibit the bike's freewheeling. Not the same I know, but the principle's not that different I suspect.

3 May 2010

I'm thinking of setting up a specialist electric car breakdown recovery company. The way things are going, I reckon there'll be plenty of business. Seriously: how long will one of these dodos be able to survive in an average M-way gridlock? The Govt is hypnotised by these plug-in cars. Nobody is thinking about the practicalities.

3 May 2010

[quote tonym911]I'm thinking of setting up a specialist electric car breakdown recovery company. The way things are going, I reckon there'll be plenty of business. Seriously: how long will one of these dodos be able to survive in an average M-way gridlock? The Govt is hypnotised by these plug-in cars. Nobody is thinking about the practicalities.[/quote] What a hopeless"solution" to modern transportation needs. I think My bike is a more sensible "Green" vehicle, and its a Land Rover so pretty good off road. Mind you at my age I struggle to do more than 10 miles before I run out of charge!

3 May 2010

2013 is too long to wait - Renault and Nissan will have taken so many sales of EVs by then. Even Vauxhall will have a couple out before then. VW have been messing about and will pay the price on losing out on sales.

Personally, I love the idea of EVs, and they WILL happen. However, they have to get the prices down and they must have air con. Get over those two hurdles and they'll be a very common sight.

3 May 2010

As will my breakdown recovery trucks.

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