Volkswagen has been trying to improve its brand image since the ‘DieselGate’ scandal last year, and part of the effort to remedy the situation has been to reiterate its commitment to electric vehicles. CEO Matthias Müller has since announced that the group’s brands will introduce 20 new electric vehicles by the end of the decade.
More recently, VW decided to showcase its EV initiatives through a public event at its ‘Transparent Factory’ in Dresden.
Visitors can now test drive VW’s electric vehicles 6 days a week at the plant.
The automaker is also displaying its Golf GTE Sport plug-in hybrid concept, which made its North American debut at the Los Angeles International Auto Show last year:
“The powertrain of the GTE Sport consists of a four-cylinder 1.6-liter TSI engine and two electric motors. In all-electric mode, the vehicle uses the battery to drive up to 31 miles on a single charge. Once the battery is depleted, the car switches to “Hybrid mode” and the TSI engine kicks in.”
The Volkswagen exhibition has been split into four different areas to illustrate the future of driving, VW writes in a press release:
In addition to a test drive, visitors can take a virtual drive through Dresden in the GTE simulator and experience the ultimate in electric driving pleasure. A further exhibit is the glass frame model of the e-Golf, which allows a detailed look into the propulsion components of electric vehicles on a 1:1 scale.
The second area displays the latest Volkswagen driver assist systems, which make driving simpler and safer. Settled in ergoActive seats, visitors can listen to an audio show on how the vehicle provides assistance in certain driving situations, and learn about the advantages of aids such as lane assist systems and blind spot sensors.
The possibilities offered by digital networks and smartphones are presented as a third topic, beginning with connection technologies such as Car-Net and e-Remote and finishing with the integration of smartphone functions via App-Connect (Apple CarPlay™, Mirror Link™, Android Auto™). A fourth area presents future mobility. In addition to the XL1 one-litre car and the cult Volkswagen bus, there is also the Last Mile Surfer, a possible solution for city mobility manufactured in Saxony.
VW shared a few pictures of the showcase:
Recent articles about Volkswagen:
- VW recalled e-Golfs for battery software problem and proves the need for OTA updates
- Report: first VW electric car on the new MEB platform will have 311 miles of range for 2019
- The next generation all-electric VW e-Golf will have “186 miles of real-world range”
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Provide either all electric car that is actually a car (like Tesla) or petrol car. Hybrid is a very wrong mix.
Why is Hybrid a very wrong mix? It is a great middle ground.
It provides a pretty good functional middle ground, but I don’t like the idea of a car with a drivetrain that complex. Now instead of a new battery or an engine rebuild after a few hundred thousand miles, you need both.
It is possible to have a sensible hybrid design. Most are not. In the case of a parallel hybrid like this (and Prius, etc), you retain all of the complexity and dynamics of an ICE vehicle and band-aid on some electric capability in a very complex system. Yes, fuel mileage can be improved, but nothing approaching a full BEV energy efficiency. A smarter approach would be a series hybrid, where the wheels are only driven by the electric motor, all of the subsystems (A/C, power steering etc) are EV designs and the ICE is only used to recharge the battery and maintain an electrical power source. Such an approach allows the ICE to be optimized to run at a constant speed generator and eliminates the need for a multi-speed gear box. You find series hybrids on diesel-electric trains and the Chevy Volt.
But any hybrid solution exposes a lack of commitment to full electric. As long as they drag their feet, they’ll never catch up and certainly won’t lead.
This whole diesel gate scandal pisses me off. VW cashed their chips in on diesel, which was a great move. The only problem is the EPA has made it BEYOND difficult to reach their standards. Which explains why VW cheated. Now everybody will blame not necessarily VW, but diesel. Diesel is the real victim here. And that’s why I’m pissed.