How The PHEV Volkswagen XL1 Will Influence Next-Gen VW Golf

OCT 30 2014 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 19

Volkswagen e-Golf & e-up!

Volkswagen e-Golf & e-up!

The world’s most aerodynamic car in production today, the Volkswagen XL1, will influence the next-generation VW Golf (due in 2019) in several key way.

According to Autocar, the XL1 will lend its aero expertise to the Golf:

“Work has started on a package of aerodynamic innovations for the next generation of Volkswagen Golf, according to company sources.”

“It is understood that VW will be using the lessons learnt from the radical two-seat XL1, which makes extensive use of aerodynamic innovation to help it achieve 313mpg.”

VW’s goal with the next-gen Golf is reportedly to make it the most fuel-efficient mass-produced mainstream vehicle the brand has ever offered.  To accomplish that, VW will focus intensively on aerodynamics:

“According to a VW insider, “a number of aerodynamic solutions are being investigated [for the Golf Mk8]”. However, according to the source, a fundamental difficulty facing the engineers and designers is that, proportionately, the Golf is quite a short car.”

Aside from aero, Volkswagen is reportedly looking into advancements such as variable compression ratio, flywheel hybrid systems, transmission decoupling and electric turbochargers.

However, the easiest way to achieve VW’s goal of supreme efficiency with the Golf is to drop those stand-alone ICE engines in favor of only PHEV and BEV.  But this is Volkswagen (lovers of diesel), so it’s unlikely that will happen.  However, we can be reasonably certain that VW will continue to offer the Golf in PHEV and BEV versions when the next-gen model debuts in 2019.

Source: Autocar

Categories: Volkswagen

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19 Comments on "How The PHEV Volkswagen XL1 Will Influence Next-Gen VW Golf"

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‘However, the easiest way to achieve VW’s goal of supreme efficiency with the Golf is to drop those stand-along ICE engines in favor of only PHEV and BEV. But this is Volkswagen (lovers of diesel), so it’s unlikely that will happen. However, we can be reasonably certain that VW will continue to offer the Golf in PHEV and BEV versions when the next-gen model debuts in 2019.’ Perhaps you ought to make clear Eric that the random dig at VW is your own, not anything to do with Autocar’s far more measured comments, which deal instead with the use of flywheels, variable compression ratio engines, coasting and electric turbocharging. Out in the real world people are not suddenly going to switch en masse to PHEVs and BEVs costing thousands more for the smaller format cars, and VW are in the business of providing real transport solutions, and have a little experience of doing so having made 200 million cars to date. That aside, this is the way VW and Audi produce new models. They make not just prototypes, but short production run vehicles and refine them. Eventually when the new model comes out, it has been so extensively prefigured that… Read more »

“switch en masse to PHEVs and BEVs costing thousands more”

The total cost of ownership of a say BEV already looks low enough to have good chances to compete with ICEs.

As the market matures the financial system will adapt to EVs and the cost parity/advantage of EVs will become obvious to even the least financially savvy people who are only looking at the upfront sticker price to assess vehicle costs.

There are all sorts of price points in the car market and now everyone is prepared to be range limited.

Mitsubishi tried it at the lower end and it did not really work, although they sold some.

PHEVs also are relatively expensive still.

For cars at the bottom end, you are never, ever, going to make up for the extra cost through petrol savings.

Here in the UK the E-Up costs around £8,000 more than an equivalent petrol model, and that is after a £5,000 subsidy, not to mention no equality of taxation in respect of fuel.

Total cost of ownership is not the only metric even up a bit in the scale, as not everybody can readily lay their hands on the extra cash, and in any case properly costed with the interest on the capital cost savings are not so easily demonstrated.

That is not to dismiss either BEVs or PHEVs, but it is to question their status as a panacea.

For the foreseeable future a host of different technologies have to be used, you can’t simply plonk batteries in everything.

“For cars at the bottom end, you are never, ever, going to make up for the extra cost through petrol savings.”

At the very bottom? Maybe, but so what? The $21.5k LEAF will already have substantial lifetime savings over a $15.4k Versa Note. Drive 1000 miles a month, and you save a net of over $900/yr on fuel. That’s only a 7 year payback time without even looking at maintenance.

‘Volvo is already testing a British-designed flywheel system, which is used to drive the rear wheels of a front-drive car.

Flywheels could become familiar on mainstream cars in the next decade because they can store waste energy and release it like an electric motor and battery. Flywheel systems are about a quarter of the cost of a hybrid set-up, far less complex and far lighter.

Volvo’s system takes 8.0sec of braking to recharge and offers 10sec and 80bhp of drive assistance. A future Golf would likely use a unit good for 40bhp or so.’

(Ibid)

At the small car end of the market where margins are tight this sounds like it may be a great option to produce and even more economic but cheap car.

S/be:
‘it may be a great option to produce and even more economic (in fuel consumption) but cheap (to buy)car.

‘olkswagen AG, Europe’s biggest carmaker, plans to launch more than 20 models of battery-driven cars in China by the end of 2018, as it capitalizes on Beijing’s support for low-emission vehicles in the country’s campaign against pollution.

By 2020 there could be “some hundred thousand” pure electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in China under Volkswagen Group, most of which would be locally made, Jochem Heizmann, head of Volkswagen Group China, said on Tuesday.

“In the near future, Volkswagen will be offering Chinese drivers over 20 new energy vehicles, from small cars to large-sized SUVs, from plug-in hybrids to pure electric cars,” Heizmann said in Shanghai.’

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/29/us-volkswagen-ecars-idUSKBN0II08420141029

Perhaps I am easily satisfied, but I don’t think that that is too bad from a company that some seem to imagine is dragging its feet on electrification.

How does VW view your beloved Toyota FCV?
No so favorably. It’s like you want to have your cake and eat it too.

Supposedly VW are showing their FCEV, which they have always said that they are going to produce when there is some infrastructure, in November.

You are entirely mistaken if you imagine that I am a devotee of fuel cell cars.
I am neutral between them and batteries, as we can’t know how the technologies will progress relative to each other, and the likeliest to me seems to be a mixture of both.

What annoys me is people with zero relevant qualifications imagining that they have the one true answer, and that the thousands of engineers at the car companies and DOE could be enlightened by their back of the envelope innumerate doodlings.

Some are even dumb enough to repeatedly mouth PR slogans, presumably imagining that they constitute argument.

I don’t know how things will pan out, and neither do those who are so sure that they do.

What I can do though is add up reasonably well, which is more than can be said for one solution ideologues.

I suppose I should add that I don’t think that people should blindly swallow Toyota’s idea that fuel cells are necessarily the best answer, as even Toyota (and Hyundai/Kia) are in fact happy to say that they don’t know which way things will break and are vigorously pursuing improving batteries as a second string to their bow.

What I do find absurd and disrespectful is, on the back of zero qualifications to be bumptious enough to imagine that they are know-nothing dolts who need instruction by some random bloke on a blog.

They have a pretty good grasp of battery chemistry, and fuel cells and hydrogen production, and for instance the CEO of Toyota is the guy who headed up the engineering team that brought us the Prius.

It is also interesting that the battery pack in the GM Volt in the 6 years between the Volt 1 and Volt 2 can only manage a 20% increase in energy by volume.

During that time Toyota have taken out something like 95% of the cost of fuel cells.

Hey! Perhaps they know something about how to make cars after all!

I think you also fail to account for the fact that something besides their wonderful engineering expertise could be driving their decision to pursue FCVs (or whatever else) to the exclusion of BEVs. Something like politics, emissions credits, etc. Just because they have smart engineers doesn’t necessarily mean that they are making smart engineering choices.

Conspiracy theory. Wonderful. That obliterates any place for reason at all, as it is entirely circular and immune to any evidence, which is obviously planted or la-la-la. I am not an engineer, and so can’t make a full comparative analysis, and above all can’t predict relative progress in the various technologies, but I can and have read the relevant studies, and there is a perfectly respectable case for fuel cells and hydrogen, whatever the musings of those who prefer not to bother with reading the studies as it gets in the way somewhat of simply pronouncing on what is ‘really’ going on. Here is a starter: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/cleancities/toolbox/pdfs/hydrogen_webinar.pdf They are building fuel cell vehicles because, and this part relies on cost and works accounting which I do know a little about, they are confident that they can build them at comparable costs to ICE cars and produce and distribute hydrogen at comparable or lower cost to petrol per mile. What we don’t know is if batteries will improve so much that they are a better alternative. It is quite clear though that we can do better than ICE and reduce or eliminate dependence on fossil fuels. I think that is a… Read more »

Decisions based on secondary or tertiary rationale (as opposed to the first order smart engineering) are not immune from evidence. The rationale and evidence were quite clear to the board members who made the decision(s). The problem is that we will never see the evidence, because it is deliberately withheld by the corporations. Happens all the time.

I’ve got no idea what you are talking about, or mean us to infer from it.

To give credit where credit is due, Takeshi Uchiyamada, the Chairman of the Board at Toyota, is the guy who headed up the engineering team that brought us the Prius.

The current CEO and president of Toyota, Akio Toyoda, is not even an engineer, but he does have an MBA, a law degree, and some pretty big family connections (his great grandfather founded Toyota, and both his father and grandfather were presidents of Toyota). 😀

http://toyotanews.pressroom.toyota.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=2279

Sorry, I should have said COB

Someone said:

“What we don’t know is if batteries will improve so much that they are a better alternative.”
—————————————–

Sorry, but batteries are already the better alternative. Running an EV in the U.S. or Canada is already 4 TO 5 times cheaper per mile than an ICE (or a hydrogen fuel cell that will cost just as much or more per mile than petrol now does.

——————————————–

Someone goes on to further say:

“It is quite clear though that we can do better than ICE and reduce or eliminate dependence on fossil fuels.”

What nonsense !!! For hydrogen to even get in the ballpark with petroleum price-wise, they will have to make it from fossil fuels, namely natural gas.

You might ask who is the mysterious “THEY” who will make all this hydrogen…?

The answer is obvious – the fossil fuel interests who would just love to have us all chained to the corner hydrogen station for the next 50 years, or until all the natural gas runs out, whichever comes first.

If you don’t count the cost of the batteries to show a total cost of ownership, do include subsidies, don’t allow for equality of taxation with petroleum, and are prepared to heavily compromise range then you can show the costs per mile counting only the electricity uses as low. In bigger vehicles if you don’t mind range limits then they are closer to being competitive, which is why the iMiEV didn’t work and the Leaf is doing better. Huge amounts of fossil fuels are used to power the grid in the real world, so why the gas companies for instance should be so against their number one customer is a mystery. Even a conspiracy theory needs a rationale, and why Toyota should be interested in spending a heck of a lot of money developing fuel cells when they have zero financial interests in it is a mystery. Of course, their development of the Prius, the weapon of choice by coal-burning reednecks shows that they are enslaved by the coal industry. Here are the DOE costings for producing hydrogen, including from renewables. Maybe you know more than them about how it is done and what the costings are. I don’t, and… Read more »

The number of uses of wasted heat and electricity to produce H2 for (ignoring storage costs) zero dollars is pretty astounding – thanks for the link! (as I see your time posting them here is limited, by choice or availability I don’t hope to guess)