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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 jamescox on 9/15/2013 2:54:57 AM , Rating: 2

I am not sure how replaceable the batteries in an EV will be. Like a laptop, you will need a battery pack specifically made for your car. As EVs take over, the price of batteries should fall due to higher volume of production, but you would still be dependent on some company making those new batteries into a battery pack compatible with your car. The price of commonly used battery cells should come down with higher volume, but this doesn't mean that there will be a cheap, higher capacity battery pack available for an EV you buy now.

The remaining issues for EVs are range and speed of charge, but with so much research going into this, I agree that these are probably not going to remain problems for long. Once these issues are solved, people will be able to switch quickly. It took quite a long time for there to be gasoline stations everywhere and for roads to be of sufficient quality for autos. EVs do not have these issues. Before gasoline/diesel engines could take over, a lot of infrastructure needed to be built.

EVs do not require anywhere near the same level of infrastructure investment since we already have sufficient electricity capacity almost everywhere. Electric motors are better in almost every way, they have just always been held back by the energy storage mechanism. ICEs will get pushed to the margins quickly; small town America will probably hold onto their gasoline and diesel vehicles for a while though.

I am not sure that auto companies staying away from EVs will be left that far behind though. It may be that those not investing in EVs will essentially be able to buy electric tech and/or components from other companies and avoid developing it themselves. I have noticed several non-auto companies getting into the EV battery, controller, and/or motor business. I am not sure how this compares with that produced by the current auto makers. Staying away from producing EVs now also avoids the not-quite-there-yet problems. They may have marketing issues later if they are not known for electric vehicles though.


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