Monday, August 25, 2014

2015 VW e-Golf On Sale In November At $36,265

2015 VW e-Golf On Sale In November At $36,265

Today Volkswagen announced its first U.S.-market all-electric car will start at $36,265 including $820 destination when it goes on sale in November.
The e-Golf SEL Premium is being positoned as a “fully equipped” competitor to N
issan’s Leaf albeit sold in selected U.S. markets for now. Volkswagen hasn’t published the specific states, but company spokesman Mark Gillies said today it will be the states that follow California’s Zero Emissions Vehicle rules with an eye for market expansion in time.
We’ve seen early reports stating range at 115 miles positioning it as the highest next to a Tesla Model S, but Volkswagen says the car is capable of 70-90 miles “depending on driving style and charging behavior.” Gillies said he has under normal driving seen 105 miles himself, but VW is stating 70-90. Otherwise EPA data including MPGe is not yet ready for publishing, he said.

Power to the front-wheel-drive compact built on the Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) platform is from a 115-horsepower, 199 pounds-feet electric motor and routed via 1-speed transmission. Top speed is 87 mph and three energy usage modes are Normal, Eco, and Eco+.

 Power to the front-wheel-drive compact built on the Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) platform is from a 115-horsepower, 199 pounds-feet electric motor and routed via 1-speed transmission. Top speed is 87 mph and three energy usage modes are Normal, Eco, and Eco+.

Battery pack size at 24.2 kwh is very close to the Leaf’s 24 kwh. It’s built in-house at VW’s Braunschweig facility and includes a 7.2-kw onboard charger as standard.
It’s also equipped to handle DC quick charging by way of a “Combined Charging System” (CCS) that puts 80-percent charge back in under 30 minutes.
The battery, like the Leaf’s, is not liquid cooled. When asked whether VW was setting itself up for issues as Nissan had experienced a couple years ago, Gillies said the li-ion battery is engineered to be gently charged and discharged, and sent a statement from the comapny’s German engineers.

 To keep operating temperatures at ideal levels, VW has developed a Battery Management Unit with intelligent thermal control that allows the pack to remain within an optimal temperature range, helping to maintain performance and range in a variety of temperatures. This innovative system allows the e-Golf to operate in its intended manner, even in more extreme temperatures, without the need of a cooling system.

With a primary focus on efficiency rather than charge-time or capacity (like some of our competitors), VW was able to design a battery pack and utilize battery chemistry for the lithium ion cells (provided by Panasonic), that make the e-Golf one of the most efficient EVs on the market. As the battery system is so efficient, minimal waste heat is created during operation (i.e. during fast charging), which is quickly directed by the battery metal structure into the chassis, away from the battery, preventing extreme temperature conditions inside the pack. The lithium-ion cells being used, referred to as “marathon cells” by our engineers, are designed for gentle charge and de-charge thereby reducing heat and excessive energy consumption often associated with cells designed for rapid charging and de-charging. The elimination of the cooling system also allows VW to keep the weight of the battery pack down, which aides in overall efficiency of the vehicle.
The set up employed for the e-Golf has passed various long-term engineering evaluation milestones in desert temperatures and cold weather climates without the necessity of a cooling system.

Interior volume is close to the Leaf also. VW says the e-Golf will match the regular Golf line with 93.5 cubic feet of total interior volume. The Leaf has 92.4 cubic feet. Cargo volume for the e-Golf is listed at 22.8 cubic feet. Leaf has 23.6 cubic feet.
The entry level Leaf S also starts at a lower price point in the $30,000 range. The Golf is relatively better equipped and positioned above this, and a closer match for the upper level Leaf’s.
Gillies said he has already been explicitly asked whether the e-Golf is a compliance car, and he said it’s really not. Volkswagen has designed the e-golf on a global platform as a global seller. For now, it is selling where compliance cars are selling, but the plan is not to stay only there forever.
Volkswagen is taking a wait and see approach, and did not state a specific roll-out plan beyond ZEV states, but that it is preparing for more growth in the electrification of the automobile is more certain. The e-Golf is the first, and assuming market acceptance, it’s implied the vehicle will eventually be made more widely available in the U.S. Gillies said also VW will in time offer more than just the fully packed version as now being launched.

He also emphasized the driving experience and utility will compare favorably with a regular Golf.
Upper level features standard with the e-Golf include:
• Three driver-selectable regenerative braking levels
• 5.8-inch touchscreen navigation system and infotainment center
• Bluetooth® technology
• SiriusXM® Satellite Radio
• Automatic Post-Collision Braking system
• Leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel
• Dual-zone automatic climate control
• LED headlights
• Bespoke 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels
• Keyless access
• Heatable front seats
• Rearview camera; and front and rear Park Distance Control
Volkswagen has also announced a “holistic”
approach to offset carbon emissions in an effort to let e-Golf claim carbon neutrality.

 2015 VW e-Golf On Sale In November At $36,265

Friday, January 3, 2014

Hybrid Car Displays Sun-Tracking Technology- Ford Solar

Ford's new concept for solar-powered hybrid car can run for 21 electric-only miles on a day's worth of sunlight. That possibility comes courtesy of sun-tracking software that works in combination with a concentrator lens to focus the sunlight falling on the car's rooftop solar panels.

The C-MAX Solar Energi Concept car—a modified C-MAX plug-in hybrid—won't achieve the dream of driving forever on sunshine just yet. But Ford's clever use of a concentrating lens does provide an inkling of new hope for solar power to someday become viable in hybrid or all-electric vehicles. Until now, solar power's energy density problem has limited its use in commercial vehicles to not much beyond a symbolic rooftop solar panel that runs a cooling fan for Toyota's Prius hybrid car.

Ford envisions its concept car parking beneath a tall carport with a roof made of a Fresnel lens—a lens originally developed for lighthouses that acts similar to a magnifying glass. The car company enlisted the help of Georgia Institute of Technology researchers to come up with the carport's sunlight-concentrating design.
The car's software would track the sun's path across the sky on any given day of the year and direct the car to move beneath the carport so that it continually receives the full impact of concentrated sunlight, according to Technology Review. That novel concept eliminates the need for an expensive tracking system that would change the angle of the carport's lens to keep sunlight focused on an immobile car's rooftop solar panels. (The concept car also has a traditional charging port so that it can plug into the power grid if needed.)
Such concentrated sunlight could reach 8 times the amount of sunshine that would typically fall on the C-MAX Solar Energi's rooftop. A day's worth of charging in the sun—about 8 kilowatts over four hours—would go into the lithium-ion battery that provides the 21 electric-only miles in the car's total range of 620 miles. Ford estimates suggest the
C-MAX Solar Energi Concept would have the same total range on a full charge as compared to the conventional C-MAX Energi.
The U.S. automaker has big plans for its concept car following a debut at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show, 7-10 January in Las Vegas. Ford will work with Georgia Tech to begin testing the vehicle in "real-world scenarios" and see whether its concept can prove practical in everyday life—a challenge that may yet pose some headaches. For instance, Toyota's engineers previously found that connecting rooftop solar panels to the battery of a Prius created an antenna-like effect that interfered with the car's radio.
Most car companies have settled for slightly less ambitious goals involving the use of solar power. Tesla Motors has opted for solar-powered charging stations that keep the solar panels off the roofs of its sleek vehicles.
Still, the benefits of a solar hybrid vehicle could prove worthwhile in the long run. Ford says its internal data already suggests sunlight could power up to 75 percent of the trips made by an average driver in a solar hybrid vehicle. And the C-MAX Solar Energi could also slash greenhouse gas emissions from typical U.S. car owners by as much as four metric tons per year—about what a U.S. household produces in four months.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Cruze Diesel Driven 900 Miles At 57.7 Average MPG

General Motors has posted a video showing yet another potential advantage offered by the pending 2013 Chevrolet Cruze turbo diesel over the Volkswagen Jetta TDI.

At least that’s the hope, because the competitive advantages appear to possibly be mixed with disadvantages as well, such as a starting price higher by $730, and city mpg lower by 3 mpg.
But the Cruze diesel is well equipped at that price, promises more power, highway mileage of 46 vs 42 for the Jetta TDI, and on that note, GM engineer Tessa Baughman says she achieved an 800 and 900 mile run, each on a single tank. She did this, she says, while avoiding other hyper mileage techniques with the only concession to maximizing fuel economy being that she drove 5 mph below the posted limit.

With a fuel tank capacity of 15.6 gallons for the Cruze diesel, this equates to a highway figure of 51.28 and 57.69 mpg respectively.

As a point of comparison, the record set with a manual-transmission 2013 VW Passat TDI rated at 43 mpg highway was an astonishing 84.1 mpg over 1,626 mpg.
However this was set by expert hyper mileage instructors, John and Helen Taylor, and in this case, the boilerplate caveat “your mileage may vary” applies doubly.
The take home message with the Cruze Diesel is it too can substantially beat its highway numbers, so, is it thus possible it can beat its city mpg number and close the gap between it and the VW as well?
The Cruze diesel starts at $ $24,885 plus $810 destination charge. It is available only with automatic transmission. Volkwagen offers a manual for $23,055 plus $795 destination or automatic for $24,155 plus destination charges.
The EPA mileage per gallon estimates for the Cruze Diesel are 27 city, 46 highway, 33 combined. For the Jetta TDI, it’s 32 city, 42 highway, 33 combined.
This said, options can easily make either car overlap each other, and GM says for the starting price, its Cruze Diesel is a comparatively solid value as equipped.
Without a doubt, VW has established a fan base for its Jetta TDI, which leads the small but growing clean diesel car market. The Chevrolet, GM points out, has a track record too, however. It was launched in other markets in 2010, and 33,000 units have been sold so far.
The gas variants of the Cruze furthermore have proven to be a top seller for GM, even usurping once stalwarts such as the Honda Civic.
So, if the Cruze diesel, engineered with help from Germans to give all comers a run for their money is as good as promised, GM does stand to begin eroding VW’s market.
Working against them all is diesel remains more expensive than gasoline, making the premium each vehicle costs over gas equivalents a real exercise in number crunching.

In their favor also, diesels can operate at lower rpms, potentially can last longer for those who keep their cars till the wheels fall off, and their power characteristics are excellent also.
The Cruze is said to offer performance like a V6 with highway mileage only 2 mpg less than the Toyota Prius Liftback, and with potential to match the Prius Liftback’s mileage and be much faster when desired. Of course, The Prius’ 51 mpg city and 50 mpg combined figures solidly trounce the Cruze diesel’s 27 mpg and 33 mpg respectively, but the Toyota is an altogether different technology that lends itself to excellent city figures.
We could go on and on with point and counterpoint, but the addition of a new contender, whether it sells well, or only moderately, can only be seen as a step in the right direction.
Rome was not built in a day, and neither will a changeover be to more fuel-efficient transportation.