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Volkswagen presents latest findings of electric mobility research


Today, Volkswagen – in cooperation with six project partners and the German Ministry of the Environment – is presenting the current status of the “Fleet study in electric mobility” that was initiated in July 2008. The primary goal of the project which runs until June 2012: consistently utilise renewable energy sources for electrically powered vehicles. Within the framework of the fleet study, Volkswagen is implementing a total of 20 of the latest generation Golf Variant twïnDRIVE cars as research vehicles.

Their plug-in hybrid drives operate with zero emissions in urban operation using an electric motor. The Golf Variant twïnDRIVE enables distances of up to 57 km on pure electrical power; an additional small internal combustion engine provides for a total range of about 900 km. Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn,

Chairman of the Management Board of Volkswagen AG, comments on the twïnDRIVE: “When it comes to driving with zero emissions within cities while covering far greater distances as pure electric vehicles – the twïnDRIVE system by Volkswagen sets new standards and could over the mid-term develop into the ideal form of mobility for the vast majority of car drivers.”

Fleet study encounters transition in energy production

The “Fleet study in electric mobility” is now assuming a high level of importance, in the wake of events in Japan and the German federal government’s mandatory exit from nuclear energy production. According to plans by the federal government, the number of pure electric vehicles will reach one million units in Germany alone by 2020. And these vehicles must be operated sustainably – i.e. from renewable energy sources – to attain significant progress in environmental protection.

Volkswagen counting on renewable energies

Before the transition in energy policy, Volkswagen had already appealed for the intensified use of renewable energy sources. During a workshop on electric mobility in Shanghai in mid-2010, Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn emphasised that: “Future electric cars offer us tremendous opportunities for reshaping mobility to become even more sustainable. However, we must – on behalf of the environment – ensure that the energy used to operate these electric cars is also generated renewably, i.e. from renewable resources. Since carmakers do not make decisions on which types of power plants will be built, governments must assure that environmentally-friendly energy sources are utilised. Only then will we experience a genuine transition to a new era.” This new era is now within reach.

Optimising the stability of the power grid

Over 16 per cent of Germany’s electrical needs are already covered by renewable energy sources, and plans are afoot to extend this share to 30 per cent by 2020. Volkswagen, for example, has installed one of the highest performance wind power systems in the world at its German plant in Emden; it already supplies one-third of the factory’s energy requirements. In parallel, more and more electricity is being generated from solar and water power. These forms of energy must also be used for mobility. However, the amount of renewably generated energy is subject to fluctuations due to natural factors (e.g. sunshine duration, wind strength). This means that it is necessary to control intelligently electrical demand to avoid load peaks. In this context, the “Fleet study in electric mobility” is analysing the usage behaviour of drivers of cars with electrical charging, electric load control and intelligent strategies in the charging process. In addition, a scenario is being tested, in which some of the daily peak electrical demand might be buffered by the cars’ lithium-ion batteries in the future.

Plug-in hybrid will assume much greater importance

Through its “Fleet study in electric mobility”, Volkswagen is acquiring valuable knowledge on how cars with plug-in hybrid drives like the Golf Variant twïnDRIVE handle continual use. As already noted, the 20 Golf Variant twïnDRIVE cars can be driven over long distances in pure electric mode, i.e. with zero emissions. The expression “environmental zone” takes on an entirely new meaning in cities.

One of the goals of Volkswagen AG is to launch numerous plug-in hybrid cars on the market in the years 2013/2014. In the area of electric mobility, they are intended to supplement the Group’s hybrid models that are already being produced today (these models currently include cars by Audi, Porsche and Volkswagen), as well as the pure electric vehicles that will also debut from 2013. Clearly, plug-in hybrid models – i.e. cars with combustion engine, E-motor and a battery that can be charged by an external power source – will acquire special significance in the urban environment. Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn comments on this: “Over the mid-term, the plug-in hybrid offers great potential here, because it unites the best of 2 worlds in one vehicle.” The plug-in hybrid, according to Winterkorn, enables precisely what many customers expect: an unlimited driving range with internal combustion engine mobility and an attractive electrical driving range in everyday driving.

Fleet study brings together specialists in Germany

The large-scale introduction of plug-in hybrid cars and pure electric cars continues to be associated with great challenges. Prof. Dr. Winterkorn: “Electric mobility will be a century-long endeavour for Europe as a centre of automotive production and industry. Carmakers, suppliers, energy providers, scientists and politicians – everyone must step up to the plate.” In Germany, the “Fleet study in electric mobility” is bringing together precisely these partners.

Six project partners

The “Fleet study in electric mobility” is being conducted by six project partners from research and commerce under the leadership of Volkswagen AG. Representing the energy industry is energy provider E.ON. From the research area, the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft ISIT (representation of the battery systems and development of new battery chemistry), Heidelberger Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IFEU; creating eco-balance), the German Aerospace Centre (DLR; analysis, forecasting traffic scenarios) and the Westphalian Wilhelm University in Münster (development of methodologies, laboratory testing of battery cells) will contribute their expertise and know-how to the fleet study.

Article source: www.volkswagen.co.uk

The new Cross Coupé concept: Volkswagen's 157mpg SUV

Last year, Volkswagen unveiled the Cross Coupé concept at the Tokyo Motor Show, powered by a plug-in petrol-electric hybrid system.

This week, a new Cross Coupé is making its debut at the Geneva Motor Show, but with an even more frugal plug-in hybrid drivetrain.

The Cross Coupé Concept is powered by an alliance of a turbodiesel direct injection engine (TDI) and two electric motors.  Its combined fuel consumption in the New European Driving Cycle is a sensationally low 1.8 litres per 100 km (around 157 mpg).  This translates into CO2 emissions of just 46 g/km, in a powerful SUV with a top speed of 220 km/h (137 mph), 225 kW / 306 PS of power and a kerb weight of 1,858 kg. 

Further information about the Cross Coupé will be available when it makes its debut at the Geneva Motor Show on Tuesday 6 March.

Article source: www.volkswagen.co.uk

One up for the up! as new baby Volkswagen claims TopGear Award

Volkswagen’s new city car, the up!, has claimed its first award, being named Small Car of the Year by the UK’s best-selling motoring title, TopGear magazine.

Voted for by the staff of the magazine and the BBC’s ever-popular television show, the award gives the up! its first accolade even before it is launched.  In summing up, the TopGear judges said: ‘It is the cleverest small car around today, the city car we know VW was capable of producing, the distilled essence of Volkswagen.’

The Volkswagen up! is an all-new city car which offers maximum space on a minimal footprint, and embodies the core values of the brand in an innovative and compact package.  Prices start at £7,995 for the entry-level Take up! model with the new 1.0-litre 60 PS petrol engine.  Retailers in the UK began taking orders for the all-new up! at the start of October ahead of the first deliveries in March 2012.

Commenting on the award, Director of Volkswagen, Chris Craft said: ‘This is a brilliant award with which to begin the up!’s trophy tally, and we hope the TopGear accolade will be the first of many.

‘The up! is a hugely important car for Volkswagen which will appeal to a wide range of customers.  Technological innovations, value for money and the highest quality standards make this – as the TopGear judges have said – a genuine small Volkswagen rather than just another small car.’

To find out more, visit www.topgear.com or look out for the TopGear Awards 2011 issue which is available to buy now.

Article source: www.volkswagen.co.uk

New Phaeton unveiled in Beijing


Volkswagen has unveiled the revised Phaeton at the Beijing Motor Show.

Featuring a new look and technologies, the updated Phaeton builds on what is already one of the most advanced and thoroughly engineered cars on the road today.

Built in a state of the art transparent factory in Dresden, the new Phaeton features a new face, comprising a pair of bi-xenon headlight units complete with LED running lights and a new grille featuring two pronounced horizontal bars to lend the car a more imposing stance.  Elsewhere, new front wings and a reprofiled bonnet are joined by a revised front bumper, complete with chrome strips and a set of LED foglights.

At the rear, a set of light units fitted with intricate lenses sit above a redesigned bumper.  Finally, new alloys wheels complete the changes to the outside of the car.

Inside, a new steering wheel and a colour electronic display ahead of the driver are joined by fresh trim finishes and, for the first time on a Volkswagen, the option of Google Maps on the RNS810 satellite navigation system.  Feeding power and information between these and other vehicle systems are over 2,000 separate cables measuring 3.2 km connecting to 60 control units.

The air conditioning system on the Phaeton remains one of the most advanced in the world.  As well as featuring a humidity monitoring function to avoid the vehicle misting up in all conditions, the Phaeton W12’s 4Zone climate control system is designed to be capable of maintaining a steady interior temperature of 22 degrees Celsius while the vehicle is at a constant speed of 186 mph in an ambient temperature of 50 degrees.

While this situation is unlikely to be encountered by the majority of motorists, the climate control systems, aerodynamics, brakes, suspension, steering system and even wipers have been designed to cope with speeds far exceeding the norm of 0-155 mph.

The new Phaeton retains a very high level of standard equipment including 4MOTION all-wheel drive, Continuous Damping Control (CDC) adjustable air suspension, leather trim, satellite navigation, 18-way adjustable electric seats, a laminated finish to all glass areas and a total of eight airbags.

Two wheelbase options will be offered (120 mm differentiating the two) and a choice of two engines – a 3.0-litre V6 TDI diesel developing 240 PS and a 6.0-litre W12 petrol engine producing 450 PS.

The new Phaeton goes on sale this August with prices and specifications set to be announced nearer this time.

Article source: www.volkswagen.co.uk

Scirocco line-up spring clean gives customers more choice and value

The Volkswagen Scirocco range is being subtly refreshed, helping to ensure that this effervescent compact coupé stays fizzing at the top of customers’ wish-lists.

While the Scirocco’s award-winning dynamic characteristics remain unchanged, a price drop makes the entry-level model even more compelling value, while a new R Line specification brings more dramatic looks inside and out.

Every model in the range now comes with RNS 315 touchscreen satellite navigation, including the entry-level Scirocco, the price of which drops by between £420 and £600, depending on engine.  Also now standard are a multifunction steering wheel and 17-inch ‘Long Beach’ alloys, while ACC Adaptive Chassis Control is now optional.

Move up to GT trim and luxurious Nappa leather upholstery is now standard, along with heated front seats.  Also standard are ACC, 2Zone electronic climate control, front fog lights, heat-insulating tinted glass from the B-pillars back and 18-inch ‘Interlagos’ alloy wheels.

The new R Line builds on GT specification, but adds a dramatic bodykit, with bespoke bumpers and side skirts, and 19-inch ‘Lugano’ alloy wheels.  Up front are Nappa leather R Line sports seats, an R Line wheel and chrome pedal covers.

At the top of the range, the Scirocco R offers the same compelling performance as before, thanks to its 265 PS 2.0-litre TSI engine, while RNS 315 satellite navigation and Nappa leather upholstery are now also standard.

Article source: www.volkswagen.co.uk