• Jul 23, 2014
The 2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI has won the award for 2014 Northwest Green Car or the Year. The distinction comes from the Northwest Automotive Press Association during its Drive Revolution event in Portland. Co-chairman of the event, Jeff Zurschmeide, says, "Volkswagen has led the diesel passenger car market for years, and the Golf TDI proves that they're likely to stay on top for a while." The 2015 Golf TDI has 10 more horsepower than the outgoing model, while improving fuel economy thanks to a new engine. It also has a base price $3,000 lower than the 2014 Golf TDI. Read more in the press release below.

The BMW i8 gets its laser high-beam headlights from lighting company Osram. The laser lights use half the energy of their LED counterparts, according to BMW, which is important when one is trying to get every last bit of range out of the car's battery. The laser high beams can also reach about twice as far as LED lighting. Because of their brightness, they won't be available on cars sold in the US. In laser-equipped i8s, the laser high beams will not work below 60 kilometers per hour, nor when other lights are detected in front of the vehicle. Head to Automotive News Europe to read more.

Renault has delivered a fleet of 30 Kangoo ZEs to Uruguay's government-owned power company, UTE. The electric fleet will allow the company to reduce its CO2 emissions by 36 metric tons, says Renault. 84 percent of Uruguay's electricity comes from renewable sources, with a goal of 90 percent on the horizon. Uruguay aims to get a third of its electricity from wind farms by 2016, meaning these Kangoo ZEs will be powered in no small part by renewable energy. For Renault, "This order is a further sign of the interest in the region for electric vehicles," according to Denis Barbier, Renault's senior vice president, citing previous deliveries in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Colombia. Read more in the press release at Renault's website.

Washington DC's "Circulator" bus routes may go electric. Some of the diesel buses, which were first put to work in 2003, are nearing the end of their life cycle, and DC sees an opportunity to make the switch to something a little greener. "Electric has not been a viable option in previous procurements, but now it is," says Will Handsfield, Georgetown Business Improvement District's transportation director. Handsfield is concerned about air quality, and says he also appreciates the long-term stability of electric rates compared to diesel. Stakeholders have already invited Proterra to come to DC to showcase its 77-passenger electric bus. Learn more in an article from Think Progress.

The EV Roadmap conference is happening in Portland, Oregon from July 23 to July 25. In addition to the various speakers discussing electric vehicles and their future, Portland State University's Electric Avenue will get a new SAE Combo DC Fast Charger, the first of its kind in the state. There is also an available Urban Mobility Electric Bike Tour and a Columbia Gorge Electric Vehicle Tour. Go to the event website to learn more, or to register for events.
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Jul 21, 2014

All-New Golf TDI recognized by top automotive journalists in the Pacific Northwest

- 2015 Golf TDI tops Alternative Fuel category and receives Northwest Green Car of the Year honors
- New more powerful EA288 TDI Clean Diesel Engine combines performance, fuel efficiency and value
- New TDI® S model reduces Clean Diesel entry pricing by more than $3,000

Herndon, VA, July 21, 2014 - The all-new 2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI was named Northwest Green Vehicle of the Year for 2014 and winner of the Alternative Fuel category by the Northwest Automotive Press Association (NWAPA) during the second annual Drive Revolution event in Portland, Oregon. Top automotive journalists from throughout the Pacific Northwest evaluated the market's most technologically advanced and fuel-efficient vehicles and selected winners in four categories.

"The all-new 2015 Golf TDI combines class-leading fuel economy, more power, advanced technology, reduced emissions, all while offering a tremendous value starting $3,000 less than the outgoing model," said Mark McNabb, Chief Operations Officer, Volkswagen of America. "This Northwest Green Car of the Year honor validates the benefits of the Golf TDI and highlights the leadership position the Pacific Northwest has taken in embracing alternative fuel technologies like TDI® Clean Diesel."

"Volkswagen has led the diesel passenger car market for years, and the Golf TDI proves that they're likely to stay on top for a while," said Jeff Zurschmeide, NWAPA Drive Revolution Event Co-Chairman.

About the 2015 Golf TDI
The seventh-generation Golf goes on sale in dealerships this August, celebrating 40 years since Volkswagen's iconic hatchback debuted in the United States. The 2015 Golf TDI will be available with four doors and feature a new EA288 2.0-liter turbocharged and direct-injection four-cylinder TDI® Clean Diesel, fitted with a six-speed manual or a six-speed DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmission. Fans of Volkswagen's TDI Clean Diesel engines will be thrilled that the price of the base TDI model has been reduced by more than the $3,000 compared with the previous-generation Golf TDI model.

The EA288 in the Golf is a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged and direct-injection diesel engine, a thorough update from the powerplant in the previous Golf. Despite the similarity in basic specifications, the only aspect that carries over from the previous EA189 unit is the cylinder bore spacing. The new engine produces 150 horsepower-10 more than before-at 3,500 rpm, as well as 236 lb-ft of torque at 1,750 rpm. This high torque output is another compelling argument for diesel engines, along with their fuel efficiency. The new engine now gets a manufacturer estimated rating of 31 mpg in the city and 35 mpg combined, an improvement of 1 mpg in both areas over the previous EPA numbers.

This new-generation Golf has grown in size yet dropped in weight by up to 79 pounds (depending on model), despite a plethora of new and upscale features. The new generation introduces Volkswagen's versatile modular transverse matrix (MQB) vehicle platform to the U.S. market-a significant step in standardizing, simplifying, and improving the design and creation of products across the entire Volkswagen Group portfolio. The MQB architecture allows for a more cab-backward design, which gives the new Golf a more upscale appearance while retaining classic design cues from the Mk 1 and Mk 4 Golf models.

Dimensionally, the Golf has grown in all directions but up. Overall length has increased by 2.1 inches, while width has gained 0.5 inches. Overall height has decreased, however, by 1.1 inches. Thanks to the MQB architecture, which dictates a fixed relationship between the front-wheel centerline and the pedalbox, the front wheels now sit 1.7 inches further forward, giving a premium "cab backward" aesthetic. Along with the new design graphics and shape, these updated proportions help the Golf achieve a lower visual center of gravity and a more dynamic stance.

Inside, the new Golf features a larger, more refined and mature cabin with an emphasis on comfort and a substantial list of features. Despite the Golf's lower overall height, interior space has been increased all around, with 93.5 cubic feet of interior room compared with 92.9 for the previous Golf. The Golf's hatchback design and MQB architecture allow for maximum comfort for the driver and passengers, while providing more trunk space than any midsize sedan available in the U.S.


The Northwest Automotive Press Association is a non-profit professional group with membership spanning print, broadcast and electronic media, plus representatives of automotive manufacturers, and related industry professionals. The group presents annual scholarships supporting journalism students at the University of Washington, Washington State University, the University of Oregon, and Portland State University. More information about NWAPA can be found at www.nwapa.org.

About Volkswagen of America, Inc.
Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc., an operating unit of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (VWoA) is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. VWoA's operations in the United States include research and development, parts and vehicle processing, parts distribution centers, sales, marketing and service offices, financial service centers, and its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Volkswagen Group is one of the world's largest producers of passenger cars and Europe's largest automaker. VWoA sells the Beetle, Beetle Convertible, CC, Eos, Golf, Golf GTI, Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, Passat, Tiguan, and Touareg vehicles through approximately 644 independent U.S. dealers.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Months Ago
      Just consider what it poops in my face. Diesel is way way down the green list - in fact, after it turns to the brown category.
      • 5 Months Ago
      Of course the Golf won NW Green Car of the Year. Diesel epitomizes greenness. Can you be more obvious that the contest has little to do with "green" and everything to do with marketing and selling more cars. That said I'm glad the Golf got a little better fuel economy. A slight improvement is hardly worth saying that the car is green compared to other choices out there.
        • 5 Months Ago
        What do you suggest as a cleaner car than the Gold TDI? (Don't say EV, because shipping nickel, graphite, cobalt, mercury and lithium from every continent in the world on trucks, containers and planes isn't green in any shape or form)
          Nick Kordich
          • 4 Months Ago
          You worry about the cost of shipping battery materials, but ignore that the Golf TDI itself is an import? That's >3000lbs shipped right there - almost ten times the weight of a Nissan Leaf's battery. On top of that, about half of the 30,000lbs of crude oil that go into producing the diesel it will consume over the course of 100,000 miles is imported. By the time you take into account the domestic transportation cost for trucking around diesel to various stations spread across the country compared to the more efficient costs for transporting electricity (via high-tension lines) and the fuels used to generate a portion of the grid's electricity (particularly small in states where EVs are more popular - 20% of Washington state's electricity comes from natural gas or coal, with about 80% of it coming from hydroelectricity, having only transmission loss fot transportation cost), you end up with transportation costs being about 100:1 in favor of EVs - that's even before factoring in that many EV owners (40% of Leaf owners in California, according to two studies) offset their electricity use with PV solar installations. If you want to talk manufacturing energy or mining pollution, then you've got a better argument, but the transportation cost of fuel and materials is just about the worst argument you can make against EVs. It heavily favors them when stacked up against gas or diesel.
          • 5 Months Ago
          Tweaker's comment is spot on. Burning a gallon of diesel fuel produces 14% more CO2 emissions than a burning a gallon of gasoline.
          • 5 Months Ago
          Nickel? NiMH is dead. Cobalt? Most automotive Li-Ions don't use it or use very little of it. Mercury? What?
          • 5 Months Ago
          Pancakes. I've now seen quite a few of your posts. You are generally against Tesla, which is fine since you are entitled to your opinion. The TDI is fine and about as good as an ICE gets at the present time as long as the recent studies that say the diesel emissions are highly carcinogenic due to the ultra fine particles. If that is true then it doesn't matter that it gets better mileage since the payoff is a higher death rate. You might find that similar things happen with mining of battery material. However, mining can be cleaned up and emission are the byproduct of the burning of fossil fuels. That is really hard to clean up from tens of millions of cars.
          Actionable Mango
          • 5 Months Ago
          Mercury is the planet he's from.
          • 5 Months Ago
          And yet, still greener than diesel - by far. Your comment is just laughable as it ignores the significant upstream costs of oil. Before your knee jerks and hits your chin, I urge you to compare the diesel, gas and hybrid Jetta. Please. Go the the Environment and Energy page. Click Upstream and Tailpipe GHG and choose California for state. you will make a very rude discovery for a dieselhead. It ain't "green" at all. In fact, the gas model is "greener" than the diesel. http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=33819&id=33927&id=34167&#tab2
          • 5 Months Ago
          Sure, you have to ship lots of stuff all over the place when you're building a car. But you build it once. If you need fossil fuels, you need to dig, extract, ship, refine, ship, store, ship, dispense and consume those fuels every week for as long as you drive your car.