VW Twin Drive Golf  (Source: Wired)
VW Twin Drive sounds a lot like the Chevy Volt

While we languish under the ever increasing cost of oil, which in turn drives the price of gasoline up in America and abroad, many are looking to hybrid and electric vehicles to save us from greater oil dependence. Several problems still face hybrid and electric vehicles including cost and poor battery life.

VW has announced its take on the hybrid with a new Twin Drive Golf that has both a 122HP diesel engine and an 82HP electric motor. Living up to its “Twin Drive” name, the new Golf variant relies on its electric motor for around town driving, and the gasoline motor for longer trips according to Motor Authority.

VW’s Martin Winkerton said at the cars unveiling, “While the e-motor on a typical hybrid model just supplements the combustion engine, the exact opposite is true on Twin Drive. Here the diesel or gasoline engine supplements the e-motor.”

The VW Twin Drive is set to hit market in 2010, the same year the Chevy Volt is expected. Bob Lutz and the gaggle of engineers at GM will tell you right away that the Volt isn’t a hybrid. They prefer to call the Volt and extended range electric vehicle. VW comes out and calls the Twin Drive a hybrid, but the two vehicles still share a similar method of propulsion.

According to, VW will be partnering with Sanyo to develop the lithium ion batteries for the car and Sanyo says it will spend $769 million developing the batteries. The German government is keen to get vehicles like the Twin Drive on the road to help reduce pollution and to help VW and other car makers launch hybrid and electric cars a program has been set up with $23.5 million in German government backing to fund development.

VW says that it expects to have a fleet of 20 Twin Drive Golf’s on the road by 2010, though whether or not the car will actually see mass production is unknown. According to VW the Twin Drive golf will have an all electric range of 31 miles.

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