Tag: hybrid electric vehicles
By Brad Berman
In a presentation to a small group of journalists, Volkswagen executives on Monday revealed the company’s roadmap for electric vehicles. The meeting took place in Belmont, Calif., at VW’s Electronics Research Laboratory. “We want to become the leader in electrification,” said Dr. Rudolf Krebs, Volkswagen Group chief officer for electric traction.
Dr. Krebs said that Volkswagen’s internal combustion vehicles have become more efficient in recent years, but will not be enough to achieve the auto industry’s environmental goals. “There will be a gap and it can only be closed with electrification,” he said.
Dr. Krebs also revealed that, two years ago, the VW Group set an internal target of having plug-in electric cars—a mix of pure battery electric cars and plug-in hybrids—represent 3 percent of sales by 2018. He confirmed that the Volkswagen e-up! would go into production in mid-2013, and go on sale in Europe in fall 2013.
The e-up!, a small all-electric commuter car, will not be sold in the United States, according to Dr. Krebs. An all-electric version of the VW Golf will go into production in early 2014—and will be sold in 2014 in the United States. The e-Golf and other future plug-in models will be sold in multiple U.S. markets, not just California. Further details about these two all-electric models were not provided.
Dr. Krebs pointed to limited driving range as “the basic problem” with pure EVs. He said that VW will put a lot of emphasis on plug-in hybrids in a range of vehicle segments. When asked if plug-in hybrids would be offered in large vehicles as well as small cars, he replied, “Why not?”
A Roadmap Full of Plug-in Hybrids
A PowerPoint slide displayed to the five journalists in attendance showed a plug-in hybrid version of the Porsche 918 Spyder going into production in 2013—followed by no fewer than six plug-in hybrids beginning in 2014. That list included plug-in hybrid versions of the Audi A3, Audi A6, Audi A8, Audi Q7, as well as PHEV variants of the VW Golf and Passat. This lineup would be adding to—rather than replacing—the VW e-up! and e-Golf that will be introduced in Europe in later this year. He did not specify how many of the future PHEVs would be sold in the United States—but gave the impression that VW was seeking a leadership role in plug-in cars in all global markets, in order to achieve the 3-percent target in five years.
Volkswagen plug-in hybrids will have about 35 or 40 miles of all-electric range, to match environmental require. Dr. Krebs said that according to VW’s analysis, a battery electric vehicle carries five times the cost of a conventional internal combustion model. He called plug-in hybrids an “interim solution” that by reducing the size of the battery would allow VW to produce full-range plug-in hybrid vehicles at the same cost as battery electric cars.
Dr. Krebs ruled out the possibility of VW bringing battery manufacturing in-house—explaining that relying on suppliers would allow the flexibility to choose the right battery chemistry and packaging, and to switch suppliers if necessary, as the technology evolves. He ruled out the use of commodity cells, which Volkswagen had been exploring. Dr. Krebs said that the use of commodity 18650 cells required additional housing, connections and parts that made them less cost-effective on a kilowatt-hour basis than automotive grade lithium ion cells.
VW will also rely on strategic partnerships for a range of charging solutions and other connected and smart-grid services required by EVs, as well as solar solutions that work well with electric vehicles. “We have to think beyond the car,” he said.
Although the eUp! will be offered in the Europe, but not the United States, Dr. Krebs did not see a fundamental difference between European and American consumers—except that he believes U.S. consumers are more cost sensitive.
Executives reiterated the company’s goal of becoming the world’s number one seller of automobiles by 2018, explaining that electric mobility was a “game-changer” for the industry.
Toyota Confirms Prius Plug-In's Eligibility for an Additional State of California Consumer Incentive and Its EPA Mileage Rating
As the 2012 Prius Plug-in models begin to arrive at Toyota Santa Monica and Toyota Hollywood, Toyota Motor Sales, Inc. announces that it has been approved for the State of California’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Program (CVRP).
Designed to promote the use of Zero Emissions Vehicles (ZEV) and related clean vehicle technologies, the CVRP is a consumer incentive made available in addition to the $2,500 Federal Tax credit¹ offered for qualified vehicles (more information available at: http://www.irs.gov/businesses/article/0,,id=219867,00.html). The 2012 Prius Plug-in also offers consumers eligibility for the State of California’s HOV lane sticker (information found here).
The CVRP program offers rebates to individuals, business owners, non-profit groups, and government entities that purchase or lease new eligible zero-emission or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Under this program, the Prius Plug-in is eligible for a $1,500 rebate that will be provided to consumers on a first come first-served basis. These grants are available when a vehicle is either purchased or leased for 36 months or longer. The CVRP is funded by the California Air Resources Board (ARB). Additional information about the CVRP incentive and application resources can be found on the EnergyCenter.org website.
The first-ever Prius Plug-in Hybrid, combines the benefits of the third-generation Prius Liftback’s Hybrid Synergy Drive with a dedicated electric driving (EV) capability, in a package that is priced more competitively than most currently available plug-in hybrids or pure Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV). The Prius Plug-injoins the Prius Family, which includes the third-generation Prius Liftback, the versatile new Prius v and the all-new subcompact Prius c, which will be available in March of 2012. The Prius Plug-in features a new Lithium-ion battery, which boosts its overall fuel economy and offers convenient charging times of only 2.5-3 hours using a standard 120V outlet or 1.5 hours using 240V.
While in EV Mode, the Prius Plug-in is rated by the EPA to drive up to 11 miles. It’s also capable of traveling up to 62 mph using electric power alone. During EV Mode driving, the Prius Plug-in is rated at 95MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent). In hybrid mode, it has an EPA combined mileage rating of 50 mpg. This means that when the EV Mode is depleted, Prius Plug-in still obtains the same estimated high fuel economy rating as Prius Liftback. With its Lithium-ion power and extended electric vehicle mode, the Prius Plug-in is EPA-rated for a total driving range of 540 miles.
It will be available in two models, the Prius Plug-in and the Prius Plug-in Advanced. The Prius Plug-in Hybrid model comes equipped with an abundance of standard features including LED Daytime Running Lights, Smart Key on three doors, Display Audio with Navigation and Entune™ with integrated backup camera, Touch Tracer Display, heated front seats, Remote Climate (A/C only), EV/ECO/POWER modes, unique15-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels, enhanced Multi-information Display and much more.
The Prius Plug-in Advanced model adds additional standard features including Premium HDD Navigation with Entune™ and JBL® GreenEdge™, Plug-in Hybrid Applications through a user’s smartphone (Charge Management, Remote Climate, Vehicle Finder, Charging Station Map², and ECO Dashboard²), Head-up Display, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Pre-Collision System, LED headlamps with auto on/off feature and integrated fog lamps, SofTex-trimmed seating, an eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat, Safety Connect and more.
The base MSRP for the Prius Plug-in Hybrid is $32,000. The Prius Plug-in Hybrid Advanced has an MSRP of $39,525. Both Prius Plug-in models are eligible for up to $4,000 worth of government-supported consumer incentives ($2,500 federal tax credit¹ and $1500 worth of the State of California’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Program), in addition to offering eligibility for California’s High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane sticker.