VW Creates a Plug-In Hybrid Car for German Government ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: VW Creates a Plug-In Hybrid Car for German Government

Friday, June 27, 2008

VW Creates a Plug-In Hybrid Car for German Government

Volkswagen Twin Drive Golf Plug In HybridVW is looking to produce a plug-in hybrid by 2010 and is being supported in its effort by the German government. The new motor developed by Volkswagen has been called 'twin drive' and will debut in a special Golf model with 122 hp diesel engine mated to a 82 hp electric motor.

"While the e-motor on a typical hybrid model just supplements the combustion engine, the exact opposite is true on Twin Drive," Winterkorn said during the car's unveiling in Berlin. "Here the diesel or gasoline engine supplements the e-motor."

In other words, it will be like the Chevy Volt, where the gas engine is designed to extend the range of an electric vehicle. Powered by lithium-ion batteries, the Golf plug-in will have an all electric range of 30 miles. Over a 62 mile route, VW believes the Twin Drive Golf can deliver 90 mpg. It will have start-stop capability along with regenerative braking.

A test fleet of 20 vehicles will be on the road in 2010.

The German government sees a future filled with hybrids. Germany's environmental minister believes there will be 1 million hybrids in Germany by 2020 and 10 million by 2030. The Interior Ministry is laying out $23.5 million (15 million euros) in a program to help VW and other automakers to develop plug-in hybrids in the next four years. The trick is to use renewable energy sources when you plug in the car, i.e. wind or solar power.

The new program will also test Vehicle to Grid technology (V2G).

Partners in the new alliance include "Volkswagen, E.ON, (energy provider) and LTC/GAIA and Evonik/Li-Tec (lithium-ion battery providers) as principal partners. Also contributing from the research side are Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, Heidelberg Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (Ifeu), the German Center for Aerospace Technology (DLR), and the Westphalian Wilhelms University at M√ľnster."

Other Sources: Wired, AFP, and InsideLine.

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