Volkswagen e-Golf To Get 30% More Range Thanks To Improved Batteries

2 years ago by Eric Loveday 66

VW e-Golf Touch - Note New VW Slogan In Backfround. Das Auto Is Out..."Think New" Is In (InsideEVs/Tom Moloughney)

VW e-Golf Touch – Note New VW Slogan In Backfround. Das Auto Is Out…”Think New” Is In (InsideEVs/Tom Moloughney)

VW e-Golf Touch (InsideEVs/Tom Moloughney)

VW e-Golf Touch (InsideEVs/Tom Moloughney)

At CES 2016, Volkswagen hinted that a longer-range e-Golf was in the works. At the time, no firm figures were released.

But now, thanks to some words from Volkmar Tanneberger, Volkswagen’s head of electrical and electronic development, we can confirm that a boost of 30% in range is expected

According to Tanneberger, a battery cell improvement is behind the increased range. Tanneberger says that the cells in the e-Golf will go from 28 amps hours to 37 amp hours.

These improved cells will result in a range increase of approximately 30% over the current e-Golf, which gets an EPA-estimated range of 83 miles. In theory, the improved e-Golf could likely go 108 miles on a single charge then, or 1 mile more than a 30-kWh Nissan LEAF.

Quoting Tanneberger:

“It’s the same package but just with the next generation of cells.”

We believe that the range boost will come to the e-Golf for Model Year 2017, which should enter production closer to the middle of this year.

Below you’ll find a graphic straight from Volkswagen. The graphic lists NEDC range with current and improved cells.  This graphic was released last year, but is likely still relevant today:

Volkswagen Battery Graphic

Volkswagen Battery Graphic

Source: Autoblog

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66 responses to "Volkswagen e-Golf To Get 30% More Range Thanks To Improved Batteries"

  1. Someone out there says:

    Well at least it’s an improvement but it’s still not much to brag about after the Bolt announcement. In the words of Shania Twain: That don’t impress me much!

    1. martinwinlow says:

      Whom?… MW

      1. Ambulator says:

        That would be who, not whom. She’s a pop/country singer. Google her.

  2. Alan says:

    I suppose the interesting part is it’s down to battery cell tech rather than a bigger battery.

    1. Anon says:

      This car has a partial floor battery, mostly under the seats. VW recently announced a full floor-pan-style battery pack chassis (like Tesla) they will use in the future. Using that platform, you could about double the physical pack size.

      That would be the time to buy a VW EV.

      Go Go Osborne Effect! 😉

  3. Three Electrics says:

    It seems that every manufacturer can squeeze an extra 30% range boost without breaking a sweat except for Tesla. I’m curious as to why; is there just less headroom in the Panasonic chemistry or cylindrical form factor? Were rectangular batteries just gimped from the beginning?

    1. Pajda says:

      The answer is that there were made almost no progress in energy density of 18650 size cells since 2012 (from 700Wh/l to 750Wh/l today). But significant progress was made in energy density of big prismatic cells (from 300Wh/l to 550Wh/l today).

      1. Alaa says:

        I would say that Tesla is by far ahead of them all.
        At a speed of 45 mph you can travel 431 miles 85D.
        Now add the the extra 6% if you get the 90 kWh that will make you travel 456 miles. Who is it that can come near that I ask you?

        1. Pajda says:

          I have only pointed out, that in 2012 there were no other option to build >30kWh pack than using 18650 cells with “skateboard” chassis. But now there is option to go with big prismatic cells up to ~50kWh (but you still need to use “skateboard”).

          Energy density of 18650 format is still superior to any other cell format commonly available. But the difference is significantly reduced at present time. I would belive that Tesla already achieved another significant progress in energy density of small cylindrical cells (18650 and 20700) but I have a very little confidence for that.

    2. jerryd says:

      There have been 3 large increases in Tesla cell amphr and more small ones which is how the range in the S increased lately.
      As for VW, until you sell them widely, it is just PR and not very good PR as people find out the truth.
      110 mile range is good as gives added range to handle winter, other tasks.
      But it should be sharing a floor battery chassis and have 2-3 range options with other models.
      Instead of the XL-1 make a lower cost lightweight medium tech composite EV.

    3. RexxSee says:

      Tesla did his best at his first shot and increase it as fast as it can. The others never even tried. All existing BEVs from ICE manufacturer are compliance weak ranged, high priced and undersold not to mine their way more lucrative ICE business. But maybe it’s about to change. tesla will win one way or another… by accelerating the transition to electric cars.

    4. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Trying to bash Tesla again, Three Oil Companies Three Electrics?

      It’s well known that Tesla chose a higher energy density chemistry and/or internal structure for its cells for the Model S. The other auto makers used larger format cells with lower energy density, in a failed attempt to save money.

      I doubt the cylindrical vs. block-shaped form factor has much to do with it. Li-ion cells are composed of many layers, whether those layers are rolled up and stuffed into a cylinder, or laid flat in a pouch or block-shaped “prismatic” cell. Tesla does have its own proprietary internal cell structure, but from reports, the cylindrical 18650 form factor was chosen because it was a cheaper way for Tesla to get those higher energy density cells.

      But battery cell makers continue to refine their manufacturing techniques, so every year they can achieve a slightly (7-8%, on average) higher energy density at the same cost.

      Looks like when other EV makers finally, and belatedly, put their longer-range BEVs into production, in a year or two, they’ll finally be somewhat catching up to where Tesla was in 2012.

      Meanwhile, Tesla’s Gigafactory 1 will start producing its own new formal battery cells later this year. There seems little doubt that Tesla will remain the industry leader in this field.

    5. Speculawyer says:

      Because Tesla already started with a relatively high energy density battery chemistry.

      The other automakers were cautious and went with safer but less energy dense batteries. Tesla risked it and when with a higher energy density. And it almost really hurt Tesla when there were a few fires. But the issue seems to have blown over and now the other automakers are moving toward the higher energy density batteries.

  4. David Murray says:

    Any word on the Energi cars? With the same 30% boost I could see them going to 25 miles on a charge.

    As for the eGolf. While true, it may not be as good as a Bolt, 108 miles is nothing to laugh at. If there is any price difference in the vehicles, that should help the eGolf sell better.

    1. vdiv says:

      Would like to agree, but with double the range for the BoltEV for roughly the same price the updated eGolf would be a hard sell. Other factors come into play.

      1. skryll says:

        Looks of the eGolf are better though – Tron lights 🙂

    2. Rich says:

      Any word on VW selling the car nation wide and not just in CARB compliance States? That might help sales. A marginal increase in battery capacity in the 2017 time frame seems like it’s just enough to maintain their status quo. Again, nothing serious coming out of VW, just more of the same.

      1. Anon says:

        Das Turtle. 😉

      2. Mister G says:

        It will be just more of the same if it is only available in CARB states. VW needs to step it up, especially after dieselgate.

  5. R.S says:

    Something doesn’t add up. In the graphic it says they use 25 Ah now and the furthest outlook was 36 Ah. If they would really increase it to 37 Ah, the eGolf would have almost 36 kWh and an estimated range of 122 miles. Still not a Bolt, but 15 miles more than a Leaf.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      All else being equal, yes. But in real-world engineering of complex systems, it’s almost never the case that all else actually is equal.

  6. Brian says:

    Reason #1 I have no interest in the E-Golf? search 250 miles from my house brings up 5 results TOTAL. Four of them 235+ miles and one 180 miles away, How am I even going to take that seriously?

    1. Zim says:

      EV’s are a niche product. I am surprised that you are surprised.

      1. Nick says:

        Nearest new e-Golf: 165 miles away.
        Nearest new LEAF: 6 miles away.

        I’m not surprised, just disappointed.

        Thanks!

        1. Brian says:

          I have a i-BMW 10m away as well, a Nissan dealership down the road started getting Leafs this past year.

      2. Rich says:

        This isn’t an issue of EVs being a niche vehicle. This has to do with VW only selling EVs in CARB States. VW doesn’t sell the e-Golf nation wide, only in a few States that mandate the sale. In short, VW is dragging their feet for as long as they can when it comes to electric vehicles. Any announcement of improvements shouldn’t be taken seriously.

  7. Steve Z1 says:

    Still not for sale in the majority of the country so I am still major disappointed.

  8. offib says:

    Finally. VW is moving – something. So what are they gonna do about it?

  9. Scott says:

    Nope, no love from v-dub in AZ.

  10. Pete says:

    Now we will see some sales going down and cheap e-Golfs like with the Leaf story last year.

  11. Alan says:

    Some advice for VW,

    Show us the e-mails, fix the cars, pay the fines pronto, stop building ICE vehicles, get on with making long range affordable battery EV’s like now !

    1. skryll says:

      Let’s introduce carbon tax and all car makers will sell more electric cars

      1. Yup says:

        No new taxes! A lot of people recklessly propose new punitive taxes to advance their own agendas, without considering the effect on poorer people and the long term. Taxes like that will are a regressive tax, since they affect the poor the most and the rich the least. Also, once a new tax is in place, the government will NEVER give up that source of revenue, and we will have that tax forever. At best it will be switched from a carbon tax to a road use tax (or name any other tax) to “replace lost revenue” when there are no carbon emitters left to pay that tax. IF we want a new punitive tax to promote a certain agenda, it should be a requirement that some other tax is reduced by an equal amount. So if we wanted a carbon tax, and if that created 50 million tax revenue, then we should reduce income tax by 50 million. Even better, we should eliminate a different tax entirely, so that we would have an equal amount of beurocracy and not more.

        Be careful what you wish for. Rant over.

        1. Ambulator says:

          Indeed, that’s what fee and dividend is all about. While it is most commonly suggested as everyone getting an equal rebate on the total tax paid, it has also been suggested that the revenue be used to offset social security taxes.

        2. Anon says:

          There absolutely needs to be an economic penalty for carbon. Right now, there is no negative financial reason to do anything else. No disincentive– no motivation to switch to cleaner technologies. And Rome burns.

          The time has long past, to price carbon so the global market can make the changes needed to avoid climate disaster. No one is “Rushing” to tax something just for the sake of it. People whose careers are centered around ecomonics and environmental policy, agree this is the best way forward out of the climate pit we (and our greedy, freely-carbon-polluting corporations) dug ourselves into.

          Your short sighted view of anti-taxation for its own sake, smacks of Koch Bros. style tea. Partisan Politics should have nothing to do with saving the planet as we know it. Taxing carbon will work.

          1. Murrysville EV says:

            “Saving the planet” is a partisan political term, and you don’t even realize it.

            1. Anon says:

              The term comes from hard climate data that certainly comes to that conclusion, if we continue on the present no-consequence trend of dumping excessive carbon into the atmosphere. The problem with conservative media, is it loves to re-define uncomfortable terms it seeks to diminish, for it’s own agenda.

              Do you have a better, Conservative, PC term I can use instead? Something you’ve seen on Fox ‘News’, perhaps?

              1. Bill Howland says:

                George “Save the Planet” Soros just became the World’s Largest owner of Coal.

                1. Ambulator says:

                  Soros reportedly sold his shares in Arch and Peabody coal in November. Do you have information that he bought back in?

                  Arch just declared bankruptcy.

            2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

              Murrysville EV said:

              “‘Saving the planet’ is a partisan political term, and you don’t even realize it.”

              The partisan political issue, of which your statement is merely a symptom, is how a certain fringe political group has chosen to deny the reality of science. Sadly, they have been quite successful at spreading this fringe idea into the mainstream of one of the two main political parties in the U.S.

              Note the rest of the industrialized world hasn’t fallen prey to this mass delusion.

          2. Anon says “Your short sighted view of anti-taxation for its own sake, smacks of Koch Bros. style tea. Partisan Politics should have nothing to do with saving the planet as we know it. Taxing carbon will work.”

            So you suggest we skip the typical partisan politics, and in the same statement you take a shot at the tea party and a personal dig at the Koch Bros. If you want to do away with partisan politics look within first.

        3. EVcarNut says:

          YEA, don’t give the government any more EVIL IDEAS than they already Have., You are Cutting 0ff your N0SE To save your Face! …What the Hell are You Smoking anyway!

  12. Ambulator says:

    This just goes to show that VW is still thinking in Ah, when the rest of the world is thinking in kWh. At least they provided the translation.

    1. Braben says:

      Since the cell voltage remains the same, giving the increase in Ah is completely sufficient.

      1. Ambulator says:

        You need to know the voltage, which at least you can work out if you know the kWh. It’s still awkward to use Ah.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          +1

      2. Ambulator says:

        The e-up! and the e-Golf apparently have different voltages, and they are higher than any I’ve ever heard of before: 750 volts for the e-up! and 970 for the e-Golf. I’m having a hard time accepting those numbers.

        1. Rolf says:

          No, you should not accept those numbers because they are wrong. With the current 2016 model (prospect edition June 4,2016) they specify a Voltage of 323V based on 264 cells, grouped into 27 Modules. Obviously, they put 3 cells in parrallel. Now, they will use cells with higher capacity – but they will not change the whole electric architecture. Also, to do a fast DC charge of a 970V car on a 400V based charger infrastructure would require expensive, powerful and nontrivial electronics inside the eGolf. Porsche will get fun with their planned 800V-technology.

          1. Rolf says:

            Sorry, it must read “June 4, 2015” above (instead of 2016) !

        2. Rolf says:

          To give you a complete answer, here are the eUP! – numbers: Currently, they use 204 cells, grouped into 17 modules and specify a voltage of 374V. Obviously, they put each two cells into parrallel. No need for an electrical redesign, just higher battery capacity.

  13. ffbj says:

    One amusing note my buddy and I went to Star Wars, he drives a VW and it had to go to the shop, the loaner they gave him? You guessed it, a TDI Diesel, badges all over the place.
    Badges? He.. we don’t need no stinking badges.

    Which sort of makes sense, since they can’t sell them or lease them, but they can loan them out, at least they did. I thought it was funny, ran great in zero degrees. We pretended to be German engineers commenting on how well it ran. With the pollution controls off.

  14. Absidu says:

    At least in Europe they just need to lower the price. Last months e-Golf ended with less than 1000 units sold despite incredible demand from Norway and very strong brand (best selling VW car).

  15. Jacked says:

    Special feature: the computer pads the range by 30% at full capacity, then by 15% at half capacity, 7.5% at one quarter capacity, and ramps to zero padding at 0.0% capacity.

    Buyers never notice since the padding percentage ramps to zero with discharging!

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      That sounds very much how Nissan engineered the Leaf’s range calculator, aka “guess-o-meter”, to work.

      Buyers did notice. And complained. A lot.

  16. EVdude says:

    This is really positive. A few years after the first generation of EVs were released and they are upping range by ~30% and all in the same pack size !

    The truth is, with battery costs falling and tech improving within 10 years car manufacturers will surely start to think hard about wasting R&D spend on ICE. When you have a 300 mile EV for the same price as an ICE vehicle why would anyone buy an ICE??

  17. Leafer says:

    and we are expected to believe the new range figures from VW?

    do they really think we are that naive?

    1. Rolf says:

      Leafer, it’s the same as with the mpg values: “the actual mileage may vary”. But if they really have an increase of 30% in their battery capacity you can expect an increase of approximately 30% in the range – compared to whatever you take as a realistic value for the current eGolf, according to your driving profile.

  18. Phr3d says:

    ya’ hafta’ wonder how long Tesla will stay with the 18650 and if the Giga will produce those or the alternatives — seems like kWh/liter is closing more rapidly than expected.

    1. Murrysville EV says:

      Yes, I think Tesla was considering a 22700 for their next cell, but I’m not sure how that translates into pack capacity due to the packaging constraints of round cells.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Tesla has already said, multiple times, that they will be making a somewhat (about 50% by volume) larger form factor cylindrical cell at the Gigafactory, and that this will be the only form factor made there. They won’t be making the 18650, altho presumably they will continue to be supplied with 18650 cells from Panasonic’s existing factories.

      It seems reasonable to expect that Tesla engineered the Model X to be able to switch to the new cells when available, but Tesla is keeping mum on if or when the Model S will be switched to the new format.

  19. PVH says:

    So soon one 200 miles EV (Bolt) and 2 100+ miles EV’s (Leaf & VW). Things seems to move among affordable EV’s in 2016.

  20. Pete Bauer says:

    This is very interesting, so they can get extra energy from the same set of batteries without any increase in the total weight.

    What is the cost / KWh of Lithium battery right now, anyone has info.

    1. Rolf says:

      Pete, who told you that the new cells have the same weight ? I once put NiMh D-cells on the scale: There was a significant difference between the 10Ah (152 gramms) and 12Ah (162 gramms) cells, although they had the same size. So, there was a 20% improvement in the volumetric density, but only 11.2% improvement in gravimetric density.

  21. Jonathan says:

    This isn’t going to really move the needly in the EV market in 2017. With the Tesla Model 3 coming in late 2017, the Bolt coming in late 2016, and probably a 200+ mile Leaf coming in 2017 as well, VW is going to need to step up their game, otherwise it will still be playing catch up.

  22. Leaf Owner says:

    I lease a 2013 Leaf today — and I can say I will never buy/lease another BEV that does not have at least 150 mile range. Sorry but I get nervous taking any trip of 60 miles or more in the Leaf — especially if it is cold or a significant part of the trip is on the highway.

    Come on Bolt / Model III