Volkswagen Golf Blue-e-motion – Click above for high-res image gallery

Have you heard? Volkswagen is working on an electric car. The company hasn't exactly been secretive about the plug-in work it is doing, especially with Tesla Motors co-founder Martin Eberhard on board. The German automaker is working on a few plug-in vehicles like the eGolf compact and the eUp! city car. Today, VW released another torrent of information about the eGolf – excuse us, the "Golf Blue-e-motion" (yes, a blue emotion does sound like something they'd sing about on Sesame Street) – in time for a media event in Germany. In May, VW gave its first big update on the e-Golf.

VW plans to bring electric vehicles to market in 2013, squarely in the second-wave modern electric vehicle category, with the Golf Blue-e-motion now scheduled for 2014 (earlier, VW said the e Golf would come out in 2013). A 500-vehicle test fleet, though, will start running next year. The electric Golf is powered by a 26.5 kWh lithium-ion battery (30 modules, 180 li-ion cells) and a 85 kW (max) motor (50 kW continuous) and can go from 0-62 in 11.8 seconds. VW is citing a range of around 93 miles depending "on driving style and other factors" today, but says the car's official range at launch, "is expected to be significantly improved with the battery technology used then." With today's battery and an impressive Cd value of 0.295, the Golf blue-e-motion can hit 135 kilometers an hour (84 miles per hour). Like the Porsche Cayenne hybrid, the e-Golf:
can even coast or "sail" as it is called in the professional jargon. "Sailing" occurs whenever the driver – adopting an anticipatory style of driving - releases the gas pedal, or rather the electric pedal. The motor is then controlled to the zero-torque curve so that the car can coast with the least possible drag. In this mode of driving, the Golf blue-e-motion even recovers kinetically generated energy by battery regeneration.
To assist in this sailing ability, the e Golf has something that other major OEM electric vehicles lack: dial-in regenerative braking. There are four brake settings (D to D3) that run the gamut from zero resistance when the driver takes her foot off the accelerator to the setting that recovers the "maximum amount of kinetic energy." Another driver-selectable setting is the driving profile, which prioritizes range, comfort of dynamics. You can find details on these settings, and more, after the jump.


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[Source: VW]

PRESS RELEASE

Golf blue-e-motion – Timeline in the framework of the Electro-Mobility Workshop
Key Aspects

Extreme torque, zero emissions: the Golf blue-e-motion

Zero-emissions Golf blue-e-motion to arrive on the market in 2014
Golf blue-e-motion to be driven by E-motor with maximum power of 85 kW

Wolfsburg, November 2010. With the Golf blue-e-motion - the purely electrically powered version of the most successful European car ever built - Volkswagen is forging new ties to the era of electric mobility. The five-door and five-seat version of the concept car is silently driven by an electric motor integrated in the front engine compartment with a maximum power of 85 kW / 115 PS and a continuous power output of 50 kW / 69 PS. Like all electric motors, the one in the Golf also delivers a very high maximum torque from a stop (270 Newton-metres). The result: more fun in zero-emissions driving. The electricity for powering the electric motor is stored in a lithium-ion battery with an energy capacity of 26.5 kilowatt-hours.

Today, using a lithium-ion battery, driving ranges of up to 150 kilometres can be realised in the front-wheel drive Golf blue-e-motion; the specific range depends on driving style and other factors (such as use of the air conditioning and heating system). At the car's production launch, Volkswagen will announce final driving range data of the production version, which is expected to be significantly improved with the battery technology used then. In many locales, the needs of commuters are already met by a distance of 150 kilometres. Take Germany for example: According to the German Federal Statistical Office, 6 of every 10 people in the workforce commute by car – on average 45.8 percent drive less than 10 kilometres (one-way commute), another 28.1 percent between 10 and 25 kilometres and 16.2 percent over 25 kilometres. The Golf blue-e-motion can also handle the driving ranges typically covered by many service providers. In short-distance driving, the zero-emissions Golf represents a sustainable solution for private users as well.

Volkswagen blue-e-motion iphone app

Energy-conscious driving with impressive performance

More noticeably than on today's modern petrol or diesel engines, the maximum range of an electric car is severely reduced when its maximum power is demanded frequently. Therefore, the 135 km/h fast and very aerodynamic Golf blue-e-motion (Cd value: 0.295) provides ample power reserves to move the car swiftly while consuming less energy, and it can even coast or "sail" as it is called in the professional jargon. "Sailing" occurs whenever the driver – adopting an anticipatory style of driving - releases the gas pedal, or rather the electric pedal. The motor is then controlled to the zero-torque curve so that the car can coast with the least possible drag. In this mode of driving, the Golf blue-e-motion even recovers kinetically generated energy by battery regeneration. The end result is that the zero-emissions Golf has enough performance potential to quickly execute manoeuvres such as passing. An index of the car's very good dynamic qualities is its time for the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h: 11.8 seconds.

Lithium-ion battery

The concept car's 30 battery modules - consisting of 180 lithium-ion cells (energy capacity: 26.5 kWh) - were installed in spaces adapted to the vehicle architecture. They can be found in the floor of the bootspace (fully usable cargo capacity: 275 litres), under the rear bench seat and in the centre tunnel of the underbody (between the front seats). A separate air cooling system ensures a constant thermal environment in the battery compartment. The battery modules weigh a total of 315 kilograms.

Instruments tailored to electric driving

The driver can see how much energy is being demanded by the "electric pedal" at any given moment on the kW gauge (replaces the classic tachometer); drivers strive to keep the kW reading as low as possible practically intuitively. A range indicator is also integrated in this round instrument. The speedometer, located on the right side as usual, integrates another small gauge that provides information on the battery charge state.

Individual choices in battery regeneration

A new feature is the display of regeneration intensity in the multifunction display between the kW instrument and the speedometer. In battery regeneration, the driver has the option of pre-setting the braking energy recovery strategy over four stages (D to D3) via the automatic gearshift lever or gearshift paddles on the steering wheel. In the lowest stage (D), the car "sails" as soon as the driver's foot leaves the "electric pedal" – now the Golf blue-e-motion moves with very low drag; it is only "slowed" by the rolling resistance of the tyres and air resistance. In the D3 stage, or B for braking, on the other hand, the maximum amount of kinetic energy is recovered and fed to the battery. In addition, the electrical energy consumption of the automatic climate control unit and its blower can be called up in the multifunction display.

Three driving profiles control comfort, dynamics and range

In addition, an active driving profile can be set; this lets the driver select priorities in advance: between maximum range, maximum comfort and maximum dynamics. The selected profile then pre-configures the power of the electric motor, air conditioning control, maximum speed and battery regeneration strategy.

The Golf blue-e-motion offers the three profiles "Normal," "Comfort+" and "Range+." In the "Comfort+" profile, the full 85 kW of power is available; in this mode the Golf blue-e-motion can attain the specified top speed of 135 km/h. When the driver activates the "Normal" mode, power is reduced to 65 kW and top speed is lowered to 115 km/h. In the "Range+" mode the engine controller limits power to 50 kW; in this case, the car can reach a maximum speed of 105 km/h. At the same time, the air conditioning system is completely deactivated. The selected profile is shown in the multifunction display.

Full charging via the VW logo

The Golf blue-e-motion is charged via a plug connector behind the folding VW logo on the radiator grille. A pictogram of a plug connector in the multifunction display indicates that the charging cable is correctly inserted and locked. During active charging an LED also flashes in the charge state indicator, and the charge level shown in the indicator is continually updated.

Packaging of the drive system

All key primary and secondary drive components were integrated in the front engine compartment. In arriving at this design, developers applied experience they had gained in numerous design studies. As in the Up! blue-e-motion concept car, for example, an integral form of electric drive is used in the Golf blue-e-motion. Core components of the integral drive are the lightweight 80 kg electric motor together with a transmission and differential. Energy management is handled by a high-voltage pulse-controlled inverter that is integrated in the compact integral drive - along with the 12 Volt electrical system's DC/DC converter and charging module. The entire unit is relatively light and compact; the five-door and five-seat Golf blue-e-motion weighs just 205 kg more than a comparable Golf BlueMotion TDI with DSG – despite the fact that electric car batteries are known to be heavy and weigh 1,545 kg in the concept car. Yet, the car's safety properties are identical.


Golf blue-e-motion Concept Car – Technical Data

Dimensions

Length

4,199 mm

Width

1,786 mm

Height

1,480 mm

Wheelbase

2,575 mm

Motor

Motor type

Electric motor

Power (max. / continuous)

85 kW / 50 kW

Max. torque

270 Nm

Gearbox / Tyres

Gearbox

EQ 210 (1-speed transmission)

Drive type

Front-wheel drive

Tyre size

205/55 R16

Driving performance

0-100 km/h

11.8 s

Top speed (Comfort+ mode)

135 km/h

CO2 emissions with electricity generated from renewable resources

Negligible



Evolutionary Stages

Over three decades of research for a zero-emissions future

First Golf with pure electric drive was the CityStromer which debuted in 1989
Second generation of CityStromer launched on German market in 1991

Wolfsburg, November 2010. In the mid-1970s Volkswagen began to build electric vehicles in the framework of its research activities. And over two decades ago, Volkswagen launched its first model with pure electric drive on the market – the Golf CityStromer. Although it was only built in a small production run, it opened a window to the future as an automotive vision of zero-emissions progress. This vision becomes a reality in 2014, when Volkswagen will launch its first electric cars on the market in large-scale production. Short production run in 1989, mass production in 2014 – these zero-emissions vehicles demonstrate how Volkswagen has been driving the development of this zero-emissions technology for decades now. But it also illustrates how the path to the future cannot be forced, even with the best intentions. Only continual research and continual progress can make the future a reality, and only when the time is ripe for it.

Initial research results in the area of electric drives were obtained in 1976 in a first generation Golf. It was equipped with a 20 kW electric motor. By 1986, this first E-Golf served as a test vehicle in which different battery types and electric motors were tested.

The first Golf CityStromer debuted in 1989

Valuable experience gained with the test platform flowed into the development of the Golf CityStromer, which was based on the second generation Golf. In 1989, it was the first electric vehicle to enter Volkswagen's regular model lineup. Thanks to its 18.5 kW AC motor, the Golf CityStromer could accelerate to 50 km/h in 13 seconds and reach a top speed of 100 km/h.

Sixteen lead-gel batteries installed under the bootspace floor served as energy-storage devices; operating at 96 Volts, they had an energy capacity of 120 Ampere-hours (Ah). This enabled a range of about 50 kilometres. To ensure nearly exclusive use of the stored electrical energy for propulsion, certain auxiliary consumers were supplied with energy from other sources. For example, the heating system in the Golf CityStromer operated with diesel fuel to guarantee comfortable temperatures even in the winter. To charge its batteries, the Golf CityStromer was simply connected to a conventional 220-Volt electrical outlet. The pull-out connector cable was located behind an access door in the radiator grille.

Volkswagen launches second Golf CityStromer in 1993

When Volkswagen presented the third generation of the bestselling Golf in 1991, intensive development of a new CityStromer had been conducted for some time. It went into production in 1993, built in a joint venture with Siemens. A total of 120 CityStromers based on the third generation Golf were built until 1996.

The first units were initially sold to regional utility companies across Germany. The car's exterior was practically indistinguishable from conventional Golf series models, and the second Golf CityStromer showed an astonishingly high level of everyday practicality that was excellent for those times and still commands respect today. With technologies such as braking energy recovery (battery regeneration), this Golf set standards for sustainability in the 1990s.

The energy needed to operate the electric motor was stored in 16 maintenance-free lead gel battery blocks with a total energy capacity of 180 Ampere-hours (Ah); the system operated at 96 Volt. The synchronous AC motor with frequency converter achieved an output power of 17.5 kW, and the silently operating propulsion unit accelerated the 1.5 tonne four-door to a top speed of 100 km/h. When driven at a constant 50 km/h – e.g. in urban areas – ranges of up to 90 kilometres were possible. Unlike the vast majority of electric vehicles, the Golf III CityStromer had a four-speed manual gearbox instead of a continuously variable automatic. Any conventional 220-Volt electrical outlet could serve as a "fuelling station" here. It took about one and a half hours to charge the batteries to 80 percent capacity, while complete "fuelling" required a little more time.


Notes:
TDI, TSI, DSG and Twincharger are registered trademarks of Volkswagen AG or other companies of the Volkswagen Group in Germany and other countries
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