Tag: Green Auto Technology

Volkswagen Settles On Standard Electric Car Battery, From China

November 29, 2011 lacarguy Electric Vehicles, Green Articles, Volkswagen Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

By Alysha Webb

Volkswagen will use the same battery module design for all its electric vehicles globally across all its brands according to Dr. Tobias Giebel, head of the Volkswagen Research Lab in Shanghai. Those battery modules and the battery cells in them are likely to be sourced from China, he said.

Volkswagen's electric cars, like the upcoming e-Up, will likely use battery cells and modules sourced from China

“You have to be focused beyond the cell level. That is the only way,” said Giebel at the EV Battery Forum Asia 2011 in Shanghai. The Forum took place on November 7 – 9, 2011.

Volkswagen’s Giebel was optimistic about Chinese battery makers’ capacity to one day build low-cost, high-quality vehicle batteries. In an interview with PluginCars.com, Giebel said Volkswagen is working with local battery manufacturers in China to produce a product that meets Volkswagen’s global standards. “We believe the future of battery cell sourcing is in China,” he said. Today, China’s lithium-ion battery makers are focused on consumer technology, said Giebel. Its automotive-grade batteries are not up to the high-level vehicle traction battery manufacturers in Korea or Japan, he said.

But Volkswagen is working closely with about 20 of China’s more than 100 battery producers, and is already seeing improvement. “We think in a couple of years we will have really strong suppliers in fully domestic companies,” said Giebel. When they are, Volkswagen will use the same source for its Asia, Europe, and the United States operations, he said.

That could mean a significant amount of business because Volkswagen will use a standard module for all electric vehicles across all its brands. That means all hybrids, plug-in hybrid electric, battery electric, and fuel cell vehicles produced under the Volkswagen Group’s 10 nameplates, which include Volkswagen, Skoda, Audi, Seat, Bentley, Porsche, Scania, Bugatti, Lamborghini, and Volkswagen commercial vehicles.

“The module shape and number of cells will be the same,” said Giebel. “The module is not part of any international norm. It is a company internal standard.” Inside the module, Volkswagen might adapt the connection between the cells to vary the number of parallel and serial cells, said Giebel. The module is a company internal standard, he added.

Volkswagen’s current parallel hybrid models, including the Touareg SUV, have a different technology, but the company will use the standard module concept first on battery electric and plug-in hybrid electric models, said Giebel. “The extension to parallel hybrid (HEV) will be decided later,” he said.

Could Audi's A1 e-tron Plug-in Hybrid Revive the Rotary Engine?

November 18, 2011 lacarguy Audi, Green Auto Technology, Plugin Hybrid Vehicles Tags: , , , , , , 2 Comments

By Laurent J. Masson

The Audi A1, the smallest model wearing the Audi badge, was unveiled last year at the Geneva motor show. As you would expect, the manufacturer had many models on its stand. There were production models and two prototypes: one as a sports version, the other a plug-in hybrid. A year later, Audi has built at least 20 more A1 e-tron plug-in hybrids, which are currently part of a pilot electric mobility project in Munich.

Fisker Karma Debuts at Monaco Grand Prix

June 2, 2011 lacarguy Electric Vehicle Extended Range, Electric Vehicles, Fisker, Green Articles, Plugin Hybrid Vehicles Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

It is quite fitting that HSH Prince Albert of Monaco was the one to put the Fisker Karma through its paces at the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix. His Serene Highness is known for his commitment to the environment and has always expressed a strong interest in encouraging innovative solutions for environmental protection and sustainable development around the world.

According to Henrik Fisker, it was actually the Sovereign Prince that was the inspiration behind the development of the Karma. Fisker commented: “The Fisker Karma project has a distinct Monaco link. Prince Albert was one of the people who inspired me to create the Fisker Karma. When I met him at the Top Marques Show in Monaco in 2006 he commented that he would love to see a fuel-efficient luxury car, and from that small seed grew the concept of what became Fisker Automotive and our focus on premium EVer cars that deliver pure driving passion.” We want to thank both the principality of Monaco and Prince Albert for not only being the inspiration, but also a great support for our groundbreaking automotive green initiative,” continued Fisker.

Visitors to the world’s most prestigious motorsport event were among the first to see the first Fisker Karma off the production line as it made its European driving debut on the famous street circuit. On Saturday 28 May 2011, before official race qualifying began, the first European production version of the Fisker Karma, the world’s first true Electric Vehicle with extended range, took to the streets of Monaco, completing a couple of laps.

The Fisker Karma is the first American-designed and engineered luxury vehicle specifically developed to appeal to world markets, inspired by Henrik’s paradigm of Responsible Luxury. It is the only luxury sedan in the world that meets future fuel consumption and emission requirements, making it suitable for any international city. It is the only true Electric Vehicle with extended range where its rear wheels are powered using two rear-mounted 201.5 horsepower (150 kW) electric traction motors that draw energy from the lithium-ion battery pack for up to 50 miles (80 km.) The gasoline engine drives a 175 kW electric generator to power the motors and there is no mechanical link between this engine and the drive motors.

The Fisker Karma is unique in that it can operate in two separate modes: Stealth and Sport. Stealth Mode maximizes efficiency, giving it the greatest range on battery power before having to activate the gasoline engine-driven generator to sustain the battery charge. In this mode, the Karma is capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in 7.9 seconds and tops out at 95 mph. In Sport Mode, the gasoline engine drives the generator to provide enough electricity for 403 total system horsepower, which accelerates the Karma from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.9 seconds, topping out at 125 mph.

The Fisker Karma was designed to be a true driver’s car. Its proprietary aluminum space frame gives it the necessary rigidity and strength that enable world-class ride and handling characteristics. It is the first production car that has been specifically tuned to run on standard 22-inch aluminum wheels, giving it that final air of sophistication.

Fisker plans on delivering vehicles to all current deposit holders during the 2011 model year. We invite you to come in for a test drive as soon as the first vehicles hit showrooms. Follow us on Twitter and join our Facebook community to stay in the loop of the latest updates.