Vw unveiled its first ever production models of electric cars at the Frankfurt Auto show 2013. The two models would be electrified version of current generation UP! and the golf. They are respectively named e-Up! and e-Golf. Vw plans to introduce these models in the coming year in the European market and the e-Golf in North American markets.
e-Up will be powered by a AC electric motor producing 60kw and 210 Nm of torque. It does zero to 62 mph in a lethargic 12.4 seconds and can achieve a top speed of 81 mph. 18.7kWh battery with a voltage rating of 374 Volts is mounted to the floor. It has a company specified range of around 100 miles on a single charge.
e-Golf the bigger of the two models will have a 85kw electric motor producing 270 Nm of maximum torque. It achieves 62 mph from standstill in 10.4 seconds. The top speed is electronically limited to 87mph. e-Golf with is larger capacity battery of 24kWh has a slightly higher range of 118 miles. The e-Golf will be the first Volkswagen to have a all LED headlights.
Both the models will have two driving modes and four active regenerative modes. A distinct exterior feature of these electric models is the C-shaped daytime running lights in the front bumper. A standard electric wall socket will completely charge the e-Up! is around 8 hours and the e-Golf in about 13 hours. Combined Charging System (CCS) enables charging up to 80 percent batteries in around half an hour’s time. To address the issue of range anxiety and encouraging people to buy electric models it will offer Roadside Assistance Plan. It would offer the stranded vehicle to be brought to the nearest charging point and pay the cab fare as long as the driver is within 100 miles of his home.
VW sees a huge scope in sales of electric vehicle in the coming year even though sales a electric and hybrid cars at present don’t show encouraging numbers. VW plans to introduce around 14 new models across its group brands till the end of 2014. VW may be a late entrant in the electric vehicle segment but it has set a target of selling the highest number of electric vehicle by the end of 2018. It plans to offer 40 electric or hybrid vehicle by the end of this decade.
VW has taken a rather conservative approach in introducing electric technology in its model range. Manufacturers like BMW and Nissan who have designed a completely new vehicle from scratch and presented electric vehicle in a radically new package. VW will be using its existing models with electric and also hybrid power trains in the future. As it want to retain a sense of familiarity with the new technology and also offer a practically solution which would attract the urban buyers to switch more easily from conventional technology.
It would be interesting to watch how these new models from VW affect the present scenario and achieve electric supremacy. Many more manufactures are keen on introducing new electric models whereas overall sales do not show customer willing to adopt electric cars. The road to become the biggest electric car manufacture might not be as smooth as predicted.
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