VW to launch 8 hybrid or electric models by 2013

To coincide with the foundation event held in Berlin for a National Platform for Electric Mobility and in the presence of German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel, Volkswagen has unveiled the Golf blue-e-motion and has outlined its future programme for electric and hybrid production vehicles.

Following on from the Touareg Hybrid which goes on sale this summer, in 2012 a hybrid Jetta will be launched before hybrid versions of the Golf and Passat join the range in 2013.

Also in 2013 the first of the all-electric vehicles will go on sale in the form of the Up! blue-e-motion followed closely by the Golf blue-e-motion and the Jetta blue-e-motion. Joining them in the same year will be an electric version of the Lavida for the Chinese market.

The Golf blue-e-motion adopts an electric motor developing 115 PS and 199 lbs ft of torque powered by lithium-ion batteries with a capacity of 26.5 kilowatt-hours.

This allows the Golf blue-e-motion to accelerate to 62 mph in 11.8 seconds before reaching a top speed of 86 mph with a range between charges of over 90 miles.

The batteries are located in the boot of the Golf blue-e-motion, under the rear seats and in the transmission tunnel to leave a boot capacity of 279 litres.  The batteries are kept at the optimal temperature through the use of a secondary cooling system.

Mounted in the engine bay, the electric motor, transmission and differential along with high-voltage pulse-controlled inverter, the 12 Volt electrical system, DC/DC converter and charging module are all incredibly compact and account for a rise in overall weight of only 205 kg when compared to a conventional diesel Golf with DSG gearbox.

The Golf blue-e-motion will take its next step in 2011 when a fleet of 500 prototypes begin testing in real-world conditions ahead of production starting in 2013.

On unveiling the Golf blue-e-motion, Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG commented: ‘Future electric cars give us enormous opportunities for reshaping mobility to be even more sustainable.  When it comes to the environment, however, we must ensure that the energy used to operate these electric cars is produced from renewable sources.  Since automotive manufacturers do not have any influence on the types of power plants that are built, the federal government must ensure that eco-friendly energy sources are utilised.  Only then will we experience a genuine transition to a new era.’

The carbon intensity of electricity varies considerably across Europe but Green Car Guide estimate that the Golf blue-e-motion will emit under 100 g/km of CO2 per km using standard grid electricity in the UK. This places it on a par with the best performing diesel Golf models but thanks to its pure electric drive the model will have zero regulated emissions at the point of use, benefiting local air quality in urban areas. Whilst these emissions are transferred to power stations, these are generally located away from dense urban areas so electric vehicles do reduce the number of people exposed to air pollution.