VW to join Toyota, GM with 2010 plug-in Hybrid

VW Twin Drive under the hoodThe German government announced it will be helping to fund VW’s plug-in hybrid development program with 15 million euros. VM aims for a 2010 vehicle with 31 miles of all-electric range. VW head Martin Winterkorn said that while petrol or diesel powered cars would be around for some time to come, “the future belongs to all-electric cars.” According to autoblog, the Twin Drive uses a 82-hp electric motor and a 2.0L turbodiesel producing 122 hp.

VW recently signed a deal with Sanyo, which is aggressively ramping up automotive lithium-ion battery production. It expects the hybrid and plug-in hybrid markets to be 4 to 4.5 million vehicles by 2015, and aims to capture 40% of this market. Sanyo uses a mixture of Ni, Mn, and Co for the positive electrode, thereby producing a safer battery that exhibits power retention ratio of 80% or higher after 10,000 cycles (10-15 years in a hybrid vehicle).

Last week, Daimler announced it would bring an electric car to market in 2010.

For more on plug ins, see “Plug-in hybrids and electric cars — a core climate solution, nationally and globally.”

17 Responses to VW to join Toyota, GM with 2010 plug-in Hybrid

  1. Tom G says:

    At last…some real progress!

  2. Mark Shapiro says:

    The key phrase from VW head Winterkorn:
    “the future belongs to all-electric cars.”

    An automaker acknowledges that electric propulsion will win, so the next question is how to deliver electricity to the car. Battery only, hybrids, PHEVs; each has its own cost/benefit profile.

    Are there other ways to deliver electricity to vehicles? Overhead wires are simple but probably won’t come back even for trolleys. Could vehicles be charged on the fly on highways by EM induction or microwaves every few miles? Couldn’t buses at least be charged briefly somehow at each stop, eliminating the cost of on-board generation?

  3. Andrea says:

    Imagine plugging in your all-electric vehicle in your solar-powered house. All “green”, and no fossil fuels. What took them so long??

  4. leks says:

    If electric cars are coming as soon as 2010, the government ought to be thinking about how it is going to provide the electricity to power these cars as they become more popular without overloading the grid.

  5. Earl Killian says:

    Andrea, that’s exactly what I do. Our family has two EVs (not hybrids), and we have a large PV array to help charge them.

  6. Earl Killian says:

    leks, no new capacity is required for PHEVs. I’ll post about this at some point, but for the time being, please see the graph at the bottom of page 16 (page 9 of the PDF) of
    EPRI is a utility research group.

  7. Rob Scott says:

    Hey Andrea and Earl — what do you mean “all green” — pv cells, batteries, have huge energy inputs and are then turned into pollution. I haven’t seen any science that shows pv cells doing much better than returning 150% of their energy inputs from the manufacturing process. And then you have to do something with the spent cells. Ultimately, in my area, electric cars would be run on coal and nuclear energy if I plugged it in — same thing that factories making pv cells run on here (Illinois). So ultimately this energy is coming from somewhere.

  8. Angry Dan says:

    I’m all for an all-electric vehicle. (Though VW’s new diesel hybrid is making me drool more.. a Jetta TDI with integrated drive train that gets 69 mpg, and biodiesel is available a mere 4 blocks from my house.. yowza.) But environmentalists may need to do something they never expected: Embrace nuclear power.

    Forget Three Mile Island. While the US stopped building reactors back in the 80s, the rest of the world moved on to innovate. Breeder reactors and pebble reactors are much safer (more expensive too, but worth the money). And compared to coal, nuclear energy has a much higher yield and is, yes, greener.

    You have to understand that all energy sources have trade-offs regarding yield (wind is too variable, solar too puny right now), impact on the environment (solar cell manufacturing produces quite a few environmental toxins, “clean coal” is a marketing myth, and there will always be some waste with nuclear), scalability (wind has some problems here), and deployment (a nuclear reactor takes at least 10 years to build properly) .

    Nuclear energy is simply the least awful.

  9. stop killing our wilderness says:

    Rob Scott, flashbacks to the early 70s are fun, but that doesn’t make them true. Average embedded energy for PV is less than 2 years in “payback,” with a lifecycle of 20-25 years on the panels. Propaganda, urban myths and half-truths are rampant in this arena of renewable power because Big Energy has finally met its match – ubiquitous point of use clean power generation with no new power plants and no new transmission for them to hold monopolies on. Once we get a fair compensation scheme like Feed-In Tariffs and the right to amortize our capital costs across the grid, like utilities do, everyone will have a power station at their home and office. This terrifies them, so they tell people like you what a scam it is. I work on this issue every day, and some of the key players in our groups are global warming deniers, but they don’t deny the environmental devastation of Big Energy (including Big Solar and Big Wind), nor the consumer advantages to distributed energy, so they would say the same thing I just did.

  10. Saderman says:

    I love the idea. I recently installed two Skystream Wind Turbines and haven’t regretted it! It is wonderful to see the meter go backwards. And, with something like the Chevy Volt or any other all electric vehicle, I can plug into my wind generated power. All green and, since they’re paid for already, free!! Of course there is the carbon cost to manufacture them. There is no way to escape the burden of manufacturing costs and pollution. Laws of Thermodynamics tells us you can’t get something for nothing!!

  11. Pat says:

    31 miles? My nearest shopping town is 32 miles, how do I get home?

  12. Brewster says:

    Pat, you just drive home…

    After 31 miles, the engine kicks in, and since it’s running at peak efficiency charging the batteries rather than driving the car at variable speed, it’ll get approx 50 mpg.

    That means, on the trip you just outlined you’ll use gas for only half the trip, doubling your mileage – 100MPG!

    Sadeerman, you are correct. the new Plug-In Hybrids are not pollutopjn free, but they’re a lot closer than what we have right now.

  13. Brewster says:

    Saderman, sorry about the misspell on your name, and a great deal of pollution crept in on the spelling of that word too…

  14. deas says:

    The key here is how a small country like Germany is know when it’s time to jump in. The German government announced it will be helping to fund VW’s plug-in hybrid development program with 15 million euros.
    You have to wonder how our Car Manufacturing Co. can even compete. A small tax on the Oil executives would be a start for our country and our people.

  15. KS Rose says:

    I picture battery exchange stations where you swap out your battery for one that’s already charged.. you wait and see.

  16. ML says:

    The electric needs of our house are completely powered by Evergreen solar cells. We’re absolutely pleased with how well they work. Scientific American recently published an article about how solar in the Southwest could provide power for the whole country with an investment of about one third of what the Iraq war has cost us (so far). If renewables were given a fraction of the subsidies that fossil fuel and nuclear receive, they would take off so fast it would make Exxon’s CEO’s head spin (and he knows it). The energy corporations have lots of dirty energy to sell and they don’t want anything to stand in their way. Who owns all that coal, oil and uranium?

  17. MaineBob says:

    Angry Dan posted on July 1st about the advantage of nuclear and said that Solar was too puny… check out the great progress and current usage of
    “Thermal Solar” for large scale electrical production. There are systems that use heated salts that can keep the plant running 24 hours a day.
    See this article from wikipedia:
    Scroll down to read about the larger scale projects and those currently deployed.