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EV industry domination for Volkswagen begins with the e-Golf and e-up!

The electric vehicle market is just starting to gain traction in the United States, and companies like Tesla Motors, Nissan, and General Motors are so far leading the way.

However, Volkswagen wants a piece of EV action and has announced some pretty optimistic claims regarding its prospects in the market. The company intends to be the EV industry leader by 2018.
Volkswagen has traditionally emphasized diesel power for its green vehicle segment, as witnessed by recent comments regarding the U.S. government’s indifference towards diesels. However, during the Frankfurt Motor Show Volkswagen unveiled a pair of new production electric vehicles including an electric version of the Golf dubbed the e-Golf (it will arrive in the U.S. in early 2015) and the e-Up.

Volkswagen e-Golf

The Volkswagen e-Golf features LED headlights and uses an 85 kW electric motor which can accelerate the vehicle to 60 mph in 10 seconds and to a top speed of 87 mph. The e-Golf can travel 118 miles on a full charge.

The e-up uses a 60 kW electric motor, features a top speed of 81 mph, and can travel 100 miles on a charge.

“We have developed the know-how for electric motors and battery systems at our own components plants, we have recruited 400 top experts for electric traction and qualified almost 70,000 development, production and service employees in this new technology — the biggest electrification training program in our industry,” Winterkorn said.

Volkswagen has a decade-long plan to more than triple the number of vehicles it sells in the United States. That's a tall order considering that sales for Volkswagen are down 1.3% through August.

Sources: Detroit News, Volkswagen

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RE: why?
By JediJeb on 9/11/2013 7:11:27 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is, or will become, that the government taxes gasoline/diesel like crazy. Once EVs begin to dominate the market, those taxes will switch from petroleum based fuels to electricity. If the government wants to bring in the same tax revenue per mile driven as they do currently on gasoline, what will that do to electricity prices? We are already seeing some states trying to tax EVs to cover their usage of the highways that they are getting by with not paying since they don't use gasoline. Maybe electricity taxes won't go up to cover the total tax burden, but taxes on tires and washer fluid and any other consumable an EV will use will be taxed to death.

It may be cheaper to operate EVs now, but I don't think it will stay that way.

RE: why?
By Solandri on 9/11/2013 9:32:45 PM , Rating: 2
The government taxes gas/diesel like crazy in other countries. But in the U.S., federal + state fuel taxes average about $0.50/gal for gas, $0.55/gal for diesel. Or or around 13.5%. Hardly earth-shattering.

Problem is that's 13.5% the price of a gallon of fuel. According to the EPA, a Jeep will cost you about $3000/yr to fuel, while a Tesla S will cost about $650/yr (not $360 like GP claimed).

13.5% of $3000 is $405. So if you transfer that same tax per vehicle over to the Tesla S (since it presumably damages the road just as much as a Jeep driven the same number of miles), its annual operating costs jump by 55% to $1005/yr. Still much better than gas, but the taxes turn it from a 4.6:1 advantage to a 3.0:1 advantage.

If you compare to a Honda Civic, it only spends $1700/yr in gas. So the Tesla's cost ratio would be 1.7:1 compared to a Civic. (Yeah you could argue I should be using the Civic's fuel taxes, but the Tesla S has a curb weight of 4650 lbs, the Jeep 4000 lbs, and the Civic 2720 lbs. Since road damage scales with vehicle weight, you're actually being generous taxing the Tesla "only" as much as the Jeep gets taxed.)

Of course the Tesla S is a much more spacious and better performing car than the Civic. I just picked two extremes (Jeep and Civic) to give a range for reference.

RE: why?
By Reflex on 9/12/2013 6:37:51 PM , Rating: 2
I will point out that I live in Washington State. Fuel prices tend to be higher here than national average, and diesel prices are a bit higher than that. Electric prices are considerably lower than national average, around $0.09/kWh here, which makes the disparity even further apart. That is why my electric expenses are below your estimate and my fuel cost is higher.

But even at the other extreme, like several northeastern states, the difference is still tremendous.

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