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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 Solandri on 9/11/2013 9:06:13 PM , Rating: 2
Your post demonstrates ignorance of photovoltaic costs and related. PV panels have nearly zero costs related after the initial manufacture and installation. Figure the average output over the useful life of the panel (avg warranty 25 years) and calculate a rough total output. Now divide the cost of the intallation by that output. Even in cloudy Germany, it is going to be an order of magnitude cheaper then $0.35/kw.

Well, not an order of magnitude cheaper, but if you do the math over 25 years, it ends up around $0.10/kWh for the U.S. Capacity factor in Germany is about 0.11 vs 0.145 for the U.S., so the absolute wholesale price of PV electricity in Germany would be about $0.13/kWh. (This is ignoring maintenance and interest - either on the loan you took out to buy the setup, or lost opportunity cost on the cash you paid up-front.)

Once you factor in interest and markup to retail prices, PV electricity ends up pretty close to the $0.35/kWh the Germans are paying.
The Germans calculated that even with the subsidies they will come out ahead in the long run when you look at the costs related to building power plants, pipelines, coal trains

For comparison, coal (plant + interest + operations + fuel) costs about $0.03-$0.04/kWh. Nuclear (plant + interest + operations + fuel) costs about $0.04-$0.05/kWh. Decommissioning adds about $0.01-$0.02/kWh (San Onofre is going to be at about $0.02 due to its short lifespan). Wind is around $0.05-$0.09/kWh, though it has a lot of variability depending on location. Hydro is down around $0.02-$0.03/kWh.

You can make an argument that the cleaner air is worth the extra $0.20/kWh, but it absolutely is not true that you will come out ahead on cost with PV solar over other sources. Pretty much every study on electricity generation costs put PV solar at 2x-5x the price per kWh of other sources.

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