Outlook of Volkswagen e-up! and e-Golf Range With Larger Battery Packs

AUG 20 2014 BY MARK KANE 42

Outlook Mileage e-up! and e-Golf

Outlook Mileage e-up! and e-Golf

Volkswagen recently presented a summary of ranges on NEDC for e-up! and e-Golf electric cars with different battery pack capacities.

We Caught This VW e-Golf Cutaway At The Geneva Motor Show This Year

We Caught This VW e-Golf Cutaway At The Geneva Motor Show This Year

Currently, the vehicles are using 25 Ah cells, but VW provides an outlook up to 36 Ah.

As it turns out, increasing the battery pack in e-Golf by 44% (by using more energy dense cells) from 24.2 kWh to 34.9 kWh would increase NEDC range to 265 km or 165 miles.

Because NEDC is optimistic and typically real-world range is significantly lower than NEDC, to have a true 150 mile e-Golf there would be need to be at least 40 kWh (65% increase).

40 kWh car with 150 miles or so real-world range at an affordable price would surely be a bestseller.

Volkswagen just recently introduced the e-Golf and probably will not extend the range in the near term. The open question is, if Nissan will be able to provide the next-generation LEAF with a higher capacity battery pack for 150 miles range (at least as a premium over the base 80+ mile model)?

VW Future Mobility PDF

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42 Comments on "Outlook of Volkswagen e-up! and e-Golf Range With Larger Battery Packs"

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That includes the result of lightweighting and other efficiency measures as well as increasing the pack energy: (pg 17)

Page 18 is where the graph in the article above comes from.

Links are GOOD, Mark! 😉


I really appreciate you posting the link Davemart, thanks.

Some nice info in there. Thanks for the link.

But if I may criticize VW group, they seem really reluctant to develop electric motors/inverters much. The e-Golf, despite a much bigger battery, has a 85kW peak, 50kW constant power motor, likely a tweaked version of their 80kW hybrid motor. Why?

If they upped the motor, then it would go faster and drain the already short range battery faster.

Until they get better batteries, that is it for BEV from VW.

For performance they are relying on the PHEVs which are a lot faster accelerating and with a higher top end.

That is just the problem, they are still in the hybrid mentality instead of dedicated to a real EV vehicle with a mere rescue generator like the BMW i3 team is thinking or a pure EV with large battery like Tesla.

I know it may be a bit ironic that such a comment would come from Priusmaniac but it is nevertheless true. VW Audi needs to move on into the twenty first century instead of “me tooing” the end of the twentiest.

Personally I dislike BMW’s approach, building in an engine incapable of maintaining highway speed and putting in a stupid, Californian HOV compliant tank.

I think they intend to make it pure electric when they have better batteries available.

VW is already building pure electric, so I am perfectly happy for their PHEVs to be a no-compromise highway machine and in-town electric.

IMO there is no one ‘right way’ and I like it that the various manufacturer’s cover the waterfront so everyone can buy what suits them personally.

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV seems to suit most, and you won’t find a tiny RE in that.

The i3 REx most certainly is capable of maintaining 70-75 mph on the generator. Go look at all the reviews here and elsewhere.

It’s only extreme cases, when you’re going uphill at 70mph, that you’ll force the car into a limping mode.

‘Still, the range extender kicked in and, with what sounded like a lawnmower humming away in the boot, I reached my destination. ‘


‘“It’s not a limp-home mode as such,” a BMW spokesman later told me, “but once the charge runs down to five or six per cent and the range extender cuts in, if you keep driving at 75-80mph it can’t maintain the charge.” Rather than damage the battery by running it completely flat, the i3 had restricted our performance.’


No thanks.

If, after completely depleting your battery, you have to reduce your speed to go further and are not happy with that, then you should resize your Rex to more power but not necessarily go over to a parallel hybrid. But BMW could also allow a Rex start from the very beginning with a battery at 99%, so that you maintain a high charge rate instead of 6% rate. By leaving the driver that knows he is going to make a long route, the ability to do this, they would seriously extend the range in which the car doesn’t experience any speed loss at all. For what the i3 tank is concerned I completely agree that 2 gallon is way too small and should rather be a standard 12 gallons.

Yes more choice is certainly the way to go but the outlander is not a car but an SUV and its all electric range bellow 80 miles is simply not enough. Actually it is a worse worse scenario where you pay 60000 $ for a vehicle that is not a car, that can’t go beyond 40 miles EV mode and that is a parallel drive. But it sure fits some former standard outlander customers that do less than 40 miles per day somewhere in harsh country side terrain.

Electric motors can be quite efficient when operating well below their max power. It shouldn’t affect range or MPGe more than a couple percent, if even that.

Even when flooring it, you hit the accelerator for less time, so it almost balances out.

Yeah, I really look forward to seeing these plug-in VWs hit the market in the USA. It is too bad they are not bringing the E-Up! here . . . perhaps they’ll reconsider since the Spark EV and Fiat 500e are doing OK.

Awesome link DaveMart.



They are teasing. Just like the 150 mile Leaf rumors.

The good news is if EVs get another 44% range without a big bump in price, their sales will shoot up like crazy.

So when will this teasing become real?

I certainly hope it is not teasing. I hope they offer multiple different pack sizes like Tesla does . . . uh . . . I mean did. They cut down to just 60KWH and 85KWH. 🙁

Probably about 2020. Only six years away.


I think they are looking to 2016-7 to compete with an extended range Leaf.

They can’t say so for fear of hitting their own sales next year.

The higher Amp cells are available today, but the reason we don’t see them is costs. As production volumes increase, the price will drop … making the larger capacities first available as option, then later as standard offering.

The great thing about having similarly physically sized cells with higher capacity is a manufacture will be able to offer a second battery pack option … either with a new purchase, or as future upgrade. This help to lower cost of design a second PEV pack capacity option (as many non-cell components can be shared).

Brian, I think the OEMs will certainly offer upgrades for existing cars, if they don’t someone else will. Tesla could do it now if they had excess capacity(they don’t) but when that Gigafactory comes online…

As much as I would love to be able to upgrade my 2012 Leaf, I don’t see Nissan ever offering the new tech for the old cars. Why should they? They’d make far more money putting that battery into a new car and selling that. There is also no guarantee that the Gen 2 batteries will be backwards compatible with Gen 1 cars. In fact, I suspect they won’t be. If Nissan really wants to get to 150 EPA miles, they are going to need a physically larger battery pack.

As for aftermarket, we will see. Nobody is selling them yet, and it has been going on 4 years since the Leaf started selling.

Way back in 2009 Nissan were saying that they hoped to use their NMC batteries to replace their current LMO to around double the energy density by 2015:

Unfortunately NMC has hit a whacking great road block, with high voltage and hence energy dense versions falling off precipitously after just a few cycles:


That looks like why the 150 mile Leaf never arrives, with the latest guess being 2017 with the Leaf II, and why the other manufacturers are struggling to get to the same energy density as the NCA that are in the Tesla S.

If they do crack it though the Leaf II 150 mile range pack will go in the same space as in the current Leaf.

That’s one possibility. Another is that they use a battery that holds 50% more energy, and then make it 1/3 larger (150% density * 4/3 size = 200% the energy). I suspect that an increase of 50% is much more likely than an increase of 100%. Yet this still lets you get to 150 miles of range.

If you look at the Leaf from the side with both doors open, you can make out where the battery lies (front of the driver’s seat to the back of the rear passenger seat). It is not difficult to imagine it about 50% longer, within the same wheelbase. Heck, using Tesla’s ratios, Nissan could almost make it twice as long within the same size car.

Well, my theory has the advantage that that is what Nissan said that they were going to do.
Everyone thought that battery energy density was going to improve, as umpteen discussions I have seen and taken part in over the last 5 years testify.
I suppose if they can’t they could re-engineer to play the losing game of increasing battery weight, but since re-designing the body is ultra expensive I doubt it.
Simpler to change the emphasis to the PHEVs they are going to bring out anyway instead.

Yes, Nissan may have assumed in the past that density was going to increase by this time. However, you provided your own refutation to that theory, as it has not come to fruition. If they can’t get a denser battery, yet have done everything short of promising better range, what other option do they have? I suppose the PHEV route is certainly one option. That would be essentially admitting they were wrong about BEVs (at least for now).

I would hardly call the links I have provided a refutation of the possibility of higher energy density batteries, more a problem at least with one particular chemistry.
Here is a more in-depth discussion of the issue:

However VW and others like BMW and Mercedes are increasingly bullish on increasing energy density.
Of course that may be just PR, but in a competitive field like this the authors of the study are not going to know everything every battery and car company are up to.

This is big money, and cutting edge commercial stuff, and they keep quiet about what they have done, or at least the details.

There are umpteen different approaches, not just one, and NMC batteries aren’t the only game in town.

As for PHEVs, Nissan have already eaten humble pie by building one at all, and sales of BEVs are nor remotely near where they had projected, nor enough to justify the money invested.

To play devil’s advocate, it is in VW/BMW/Mercedes’ interests to appear bullish on better batteries if they wanted to discourage sales of EVs today. One reason they may want to do that is to depress sales from, say, Nissan, until they can ramp up their own production. And then magically they change their tune when they can fully compete. Of course, neither of us knows the full truth, just presenting another possible scenario. As for better batteries, you seem to have refuted the idea of Nissan moving to NMC in 2015. Who knows, maybe we’ll be surprised. I doubt it. Given the current trends, I suspect that a 50% increase in capacity is far more likely than a 100% increase. VW has said as much, lately: http://insideevs.com/volkswagen-development-chief-expect-50-electric-range-2016-300-2020/. What is of interest to me is the fact that VW is fitting batteries into the gas tank/exhaust system space on their e-Golf. That limits how large the battery can be, suggesting that the energy density will actually increase by 50%. Nissan, by contrast, is set up to use a different design for their EVs than any gas model. They could more easily increase the size of the battery pack by 1/3 which,… Read more »

AFAIK it is NMC batteries which VW is using from Panasonic, and you have told us that the 36Ah ones are already for sale, but they have gone for the moment with the 25Ah ones due to cost.

I would be interested in your source for the 36Ah ones already being available.

There seems to be some confusion.
As far as I can make out without being an industrial chemist, it is not NMC batteries as such that are the problem, but very high voltage ones which would have enabled Tesla-like energy densities.

Even at 36Ah the batteries VW is talking about using in the short term fall some way short of that, but give the specified 50% range increase.

I definitely don’t understand what is going on.
The Kia Soul use NMC and is in low volume production right now, and has a very high 200Wh/kg specific energy, so how they have got around the limits other are talking about I have no idea.

This is Amp-hour, not Amps. It is another way of specifying the energy storage capacity like KWH.

Are there reviews even confirming that ‘Status’ has been achieved? Are these cars actually delivering the usual ~66% of NEDC, for a real-world 106-118 miles between e-up and e-golf? Links?

What if demand for more cells/range outpaces progress in density, or should I say VW’s will to use it?

Stay tuned, when the Tesla Giga factory goes on line, 150mile range for all Ev’s will be the norm at a reasonable price.

Or when Nissan introduces Leaf V.2 or Chevrolet introduces the Chevy Bolt.

If Teslas continue to catch on as well as they will need a second GF just to meet the services promised from the first GF (cars AND stationary storage).

Tesla said in February that the Gigafactory will be fully operational in 2020, assuming construction started around the middle of 2014.

@Mark Kane, while your assumption VW will behave like Nissan w.r.t. battery size (i.e., run The Long Tease) is plausible,…

…in reality not all automakers are alike. It seems the German makers took their time to get BEVs to market, but once they get there they are ramping up and expanding markets far faster than Nissan and Renault have done.

IOW, I wouldn’t be surprised if VW surprises us 🙂


Volkswagen seems to be very optimistic about energy density for high energy batteries.

Slide 16 roadmap lists 140 kWh/kg to 1,000 kWh/kg at the cell level.


I would settle for 1/1000 of that.

This just in: Electric cars have more range with a larger battery!

Serious, was there anything in the presentation saying that VW will be offering larger batteries? Or did they really just say that the cars can go farther if they did?

if you look at the top of the chart Mark had presented here, it says:
‘Mileage Outlook for E-Up and E-Golf’
which would be a bit daft if they did not intend to use the new batteries.

Fair enough. I guess I was allowing them to be a bit liberal in their use of “outlook”. I read it more as “look at what we could do” than “look at what we will do”.

What I see is that most VW models are going toward the parallel hybrid approach but that may not be a good idea since you keep the mechanical losses associated with the crankshaft clutch and gearbox.
In contrast, the new Toyota direct free piston generator now has a higher overall efficiency in the fuel/piston/electricity/controller/motor/wheel line compared with the traditional fuel/piston/crankshaft/clutch/gearbox/wheel line. So, the parallel hybrid approach is now outdated compared to an EV with serial generator approach. Actually even for a pure gasoline vehicle it is now more efficient to pass through an electric line instead of a direct mechanical line. The very last advantage of parallel hybrids has collapsed. This is even truer if the fuel is only used as an assistant for range extending.

Perhaps they don’t want them to drive like a Prius.
With a 0-60 of 7.9 seconds they are optimised entirely differently, and just happen to have good overall fuel economy, which is the Prius’s prime objective.

But the Prius is outdated as well since it is also a parallel hybrid.
BMW took the right path with their i3 but unfortunatly they put a crank and shaft based generator as rex instead of a direct free piston generator.

What is a bit suprising to Toyota itself is that their new generator would be better converting Hydrogen to electricity as even their newest fuel cell, which even for them was totally unexpected.