VW Launches E-Golf Test Fleet in US

Nine-month pilot scheme evaluates prototype electric Golf models in three key markets as part of BEV research program

Herndon, VA –  Volkswagen of America today announced that it will begin a pilot scheme to test 20 prototype E-Golf Battery Electric Vehicles over a nine-month period in select locations in the U.S. Twelve of these vehicles will be allocated to selected Volkswagen employees during the time period. By studying E-Golf use across multiple geographical regions, Volkswagen will monitor the effect of climate conditions, driving patterns, and energy performance; the data and insights gained during the scheme will be used in the final development of future EV technology applications.The E-Golf pilot program will take place in the Detroit Metro, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. markets, beginning in April.

In addition to testing the vehicle itself, users will also test specific services designed for the E-Golf. For example, 220-volt charging stations will be installed at the employees’ homes to charge the vehicles. Each E-Golf will be delivered with an iPhone® and a dedicated app, allowing the user to check the battery’s charging status, regulate the car’s internal temperature, gauge how much charging time is left, or even remotely start the charging procedure. Finally, Volkswagen has set up a web portal dedicated to the fleet test to support the users 24/7 in case of specific questions and in order to allow users to share their feedback on the E-Golf.

“As a part of our Think Blue strategy, the Volkswagen brand has shown an undeniable commitment towards investing in technologies that will help improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions,” said Jonathan Browning, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America.  “This E-Golf test fleet will provide critical feedback on these vehicles that will prove essential in our sustainability efforts and in the drive towards electric mobility.”

“During this test we will examine in detail all the technical and administrative aspects of typical consumers using electric vehicles on an everyday basis,” said Dr Rudolf Krebs, Executive Vice president and Head of Volkswagen Group E-Traction. “For a successful market launch of electric vehicles, the way that home chargers are handled is very important, along with easy access to public charging infrastructure. For the U.S., we also have to recognize the specific legal regulations as well as the different characteristics of the electricity supply: both the reduced 110-volt mains supply and the type of charging plugs.”

About the E-Golf

The E-Golf looks just like a four-door Golf, with seating for five people. It is driven by an electric motor that delivers a strong 199 pound-feet of torque: power for the electric motor comes from a lithium-ion battery with an energy capacity of 26.5 kilowatt-hours. The battery itself consists of 180 cells. The E-Golf has an estimated driving range of 93 miles; however, the specific range will depend on driving style and factors such as the use of air conditioning and heating. The vehicle has a number of features that help ensure energy is preserved while driving: the vehicle can coast whenever the driver releases the accelerator pedal; there are three driving modes; and there are three settings for regenerative braking, where kinetic energy is recaptured into the battery. Charging is accomplished via a plug connector behind the gas cap on the right rear fender.

Hybrids coming?

VW Jetta Hybrid

From Das Auto magazine…

“No compromise.” “Best of all worlds.”

Those are mighty big claims—particularly when it comes to cars with the best gas mileage without compromising performance.

But big claims are nothing new for Volkswagen—think about the nimble, fuel-efficient [1] Jetta TDI®Clean Diesel.

And now there’s another Volkswagen that’s just as eco-conscious: the all-new 2013 Jetta Hybrid. More than just another “me too” entry in the field, the Jetta Hybrid is something altogether different. Turbocharged. Seven-speed. Dual-clutch automatic transmission. All of which let you zip from zero to 60 in less than nine seconds—while delivering an impressive 45 mpg [1].

Volkswagen engineers found a way to combine the most advanced fuel-saving technology with sporty performance, plenty of rear legroom, sleek styling and amazing value. “It’s the first no-compromise compact hybrid,” says John Ryan, Volkswagen of America product manager for compact vehicles. “It simply offers the best of all worlds.”

The Jetta Hybrid is lightweight, sleek and quiet. Take the turbocharger. In any hybrid, a traditional gas engine pairs with an electric propulsion system. But with the Jetta Hybrid, drivers get a robust 170 hp as well as a DSG® automatic transmission. Translation? In Sport mode, the Jetta Hybrid delivers an extra boost of power with the push of a button.

Even in electric-only mode, the Jetta Hybrid can reach speeds of 44 mph. “This is a real benefit in stop-start city driving,” Ryan says. “Think of the times you’re stuck in traffic, moving 10 feet at a time. Instead of sitting there with a gas engine idling, the Jetta Hybrid will move using only zero-emission electric power.”

Even with all its advances, the Jetta Hybrid, which goes on sale later this year, is still a Volkswagen through and through. “With the Jetta Hybrid, we are staying true to our Volkswagen DNA, offering exceptional fuel economy coupled with great driving dynamics,” Ryan says. “It is truly the turbo for hybrid fans—or the hybrid for turbo fans.”

Increase your fuel economy

Check out the neato infographic!  Gas prices are high and going higher, so every penny you can save counts.  Follow these simple tips to get the most out of your car, even if you don’t have the 50+ MPG Volkswagen TDI!  Click on the image for a bigger picture…