Volkswagen Battery Breakthrough Could Lead To Affordable 125-Mile Electric Car


Volkswagen Golf GTE - battery pack

Volkswagen Golf GTE – battery pack

In the last two months, Volkswagen has made two major battery announcements.

The first announcement was that the automaker would know by this July whether or not its breakthrough battery tech with QuantumScape would be ready for primetime.

This announcement was followed by Volkswagen discussing its move to a single battery design to reduce electric car costs.

Now, the rest of the picture is coming into view.

According to Autocar:

Volkswagen is closing in on a new battery technology that will bring “a quantum leap for the electric car”, according to the firm’s boss Martin Winterkorn.

 Winterkorn told German tabloid newspaper Bild, “VW is researching a super-battery in Silicon Valley in California, that is cheaper, smaller and more powerful. An electric Volkswagen that can travel 300km (186 miles) on electricity is in sight. It will be a quantum leap for the electric car.”

That 300 km figure would be an NEDC number.  Translated to an EPA rating, we’d be looking at approximately 125 miles, which still beats today’s affordable electric cars.

Additionally, Winterkorn revealed that VW “will launch a three-wheeled semi-scooter called the Last Mile Surfer – in effect a rival to the Segway – that’s designed to be carried in a car and then used for the final phase of the journey.”

Winterkorn stated:

“It’s a battery-powered scooter with three wheels, similar to the Segway. Our model is much better, though – more elegant and smaller – and with a price under 1000 euros (£710) it is much cheaper. The Last Mile Surfer can be folded and stowed in the boot.”

Source: Autocar

Categories: Battery Tech, Volkswagen


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65 Comments on "Volkswagen Battery Breakthrough Could Lead To Affordable 125-Mile Electric Car"

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Does “Affordable 125-Mile Electric Car” imply a BEV with 125 miles usable real-world driving range for under $35,000 available for purchase in every state?

If so, wouldn’t the upgraded Leaf satisfy this criteria?

No, the 30kWh Leaf should rate just over 100 miles EPA.

How about for $25,000 or $20,000? I don’t think they said the price.

Yes, but only while it is being observed, it is uses quantum programing to change perform differently when being measured

And how will this be any better than what Nissan will have on the market later this year?

And of course much worse than the 200 mile BEVs like the Bolt, new Leaf and Model 3 coming out a year later.

Unless it really is a much cheaper technology and they can put out an EV that has less range but a much, much smaller price premium.

VW is a PR firm that sells cars; they are the fastest of all car companies to announce future vapor and still sell stagnate, obsolete gas and oil burners.

If they real make the car, it should be able to meet or exceed the GM Bolt specs of 200 miles.

When you read announcements like this you should think, “these guys don’t have squat to sell and won’t have for a long while”. This announcement is just FUD to try and keep you from buying from their competitors. If a company doesn’t have something to sell you then if they can keep you from buying from their competitors then it’s a win.

My egolf gets 100 miles as long as it’s not cold and no ac. If it were to get 200 miles, it would require a bigger battery and be too heavy unless there’s a 2x density breakthrough. The Bolt is likely getting most of its 200 miles from a bigger battery, but that’s no big deal as Tesla has shown.

-Winterkorn revealed that VW “will launch a three-wheeled semi-scooter called the Last Mile Surfer – in effect a rival to the Segway – that’s designed to be carried in a car and then used for the final phase of the journey.”-

That’s going to suck in the winter. What?

People should be walking anyways. The nation is becoming massively obese.

And sadly, I’m on the borderline of that. Definitely overweight. Damn middle-age! I know have a box of fruits & veggies delivered to me every 2 weeks in attempts to improve my diet.

Touché on that mobility stuff. When one is a retired senior with chronic outer-space high bad cholesterol adding more mobility without more physical exertion to the equation will not motivate me to buy the VW battery power car. The maker should stick to enabling the vehicle with more miles per charge. They should think of hydrogen powered vehicles that will not pollute our planet further with all these batteries that have to be disposed of sooner or later.

You kind of went off on a tangent w/the hydrogen talk. Note that EV batteries will be recycled.

You re-purpose or recycle batteries– one does not “dispose” of them. 😛

As for hydrogen that does not pollute; you’re been watching far too many American Petroleum Institute’s Ad’s on TV. 😛

“They should think of hydrogen powered vehicles that will not pollute our planet further…”

Hydrogen fuel is not made by unicorns using rainbows. The production and distribution process produces more pollution than making and burning gasoline, for an equivalent number of miles driven.

As do BEVs powered by coal.

Mostly false.

… but not by PV – which just about anyone can stick on their roof without the permission of Big Oil and which is really quite affordable, these days.

And Ray, just bear in mind that 98% of hydrogen is currently made by steam reforming (a *very* energy intensive process) natural gas! MW

Even in the worst possible case, EVs powered by coal-fired electric power plants pollute about the same as a gasoline powered car.

But, here’s the thing..

A gasoline powered car will ALWAYS pollute the same amount (in fact, it will likely just get dirtier the older it gets, and its motor, consisting of thousands of parts with high tolerances, wears down and becomes less efficient).

But, an electric car can simply switch its power source and become cleaner at ANY time. if the coal-fired power plant is improved with new technology to reduce its emissions, ALL of the electric cars that it supplies power for will get immediately cleaner — without any modification to the cars themselves.

It takes DECADES to make a fleet of gasoline powered car cleaner as you have to wait for everyone to swap out their old cars. With EVs, you simply clean up the power source and every car benefits.

Only picture I’ve seen:

As part of VW communication: “VW is researching a super battery”.

That we know already for quite some time.

So do they have that super battery now ? Not yet it seems. I do not really understand what this article is about then.

A 125 miles BEV, even if its affordable for the masses, isn’t a quantum leap over existing technologies. The next Leaf will do better than that easily, and I expect it to be unveiled in the next 6 months or so.

All-electron battery should be better in every respect then Li- ion.

Has there really been a battery breakthrough? I hope so.

But since VW previously said incredibly negative things about EVs in the past, perhaps they had to say there was battery breakthrough to make their big flip-flop on battery powered cars seem credible.


I think you nailed it.

Glad to see VW see the light. Let them have their fig leaf.


So Tesla with all their relations to Vent Cap missed on this magical company from silicon valey backed by VC, but VW found them.

So you don’t know what a “logistics chain” is, or an “out-year supplier contract.” Is “risk-sharing joint venture” getting any warmer? Do I have to start with “commodity”?

Perhaps peet365 was being sarcastic?

quantum leap?? gimme a break, they’ll be way behind by the time they move from “researching battery technology” to “globally available mass production vehicle”… garbage

they have the eGolf and eUp for quite some time already…

Interesting but nowhere near a quantum leap; it’s lower real world range than what Nissan and Chevy have on the way within a year, if not sooner.

Basically all I learned from this is that VW is working on an improved battery. That’s no different from any other EV manufacturer, so really not news.

It is all-electron battery – much more than just improvement of Li-ion.

I truly hate non-announcements like this from corporations. This one is particularly annoying for the reasons others have already pointed out: Nothing VW is describing sounds like a serious competitor to the Bolt, the Leaf II, or the Model 3.

At least not unless their “quantum breakthrough” (ack!) allows them to dramatically reduce the price. If they could sell, say, a stripper version of the e-Golf with 125 miles of range for $20,000 before tax breaks, then that would be at least mildly interesting, assuming they could get it on the market before 2018.

But until they’re much more specific I’m not penciling this in as a replacement for my Leaf.

Well, I think they are being sort of honest, if you take the meaning of “quantum”… “the minimum amount of any physical entity involved in an interaction” according to Wikipedia. A very very small improvement then.

There’s nothing specific about the Bolt or Leaf battery either. And the Model 3 is just Teslas solution to long range. A big li battery

“Winterkorn told German tabloid newspaper Bild…”

This should say it all…

Bild is the biggest newpaper in germany with around 5 million readers (80 million inhabitants in germany). They have a tabloid division, this is no small online niche newspaper.

The Bild is know for more sensational headlines.

Yeah, a big Yawn here also. European companies must think the public is easily impressed. Tesla, using ‘old’ technology (thanks Eberhart) made a car that would go 250 miles if you made a few changes what? 6 years ago, as a PRODUCTION vehicle? And Winterkorn, just back from his backroom bar-room-brawl with another big shot – I forget his name, must have thought he needed some Grand Announcement to deflect the personality problems they’re having of late. Of course, for years, VW thought that hybrids were silly, and that DIESEL was the way to go, except for all the kids in London and Paris who couldn’t breathe, and now the respective gov’ts are sheepishly stating they made a mistake emphasizing it. Now VW is the ‘premier’ ev maker, according to themselves. Well, we’ll see. In another article Renault is superproud of themselves coming up with a Salient-Pole Synchronous AC Motor that George Westinghouse made thousands of in the NINETEENTH Century, let alone the 20th or 21st. They claim they are ‘more efficient’ !!! Er, more efficient than what? Also, must be a translation problem from Francais to Anglais but, an Engine denotes a ‘Prime Mover’, something an AC Machine is… Read more »

I hate when people use the term, “Quantum” to describe a large advancement (usually in the mainstream media over some vaporous product or process), when it really refers to something small; a quanta, or portion of something.

I hate that too. It’s like “light years” ahead, the same as years ahead, unless you are talking about distance, but no, we are talking about time. Just another catchy phrase that has come to mean a conception of something other than what it really means. Plus it sounds cooler to add the qualifier.

ffbj said:

“Just another catchy phrase that has come to mean a conception of something other than what it really means.”

Quoting from {}:

Etymological Fallacy

The assumption that the present day meaning of a word should be/is similar to the historical meaning. This fallacy ignores the evolution of language and heart of linguistics.

[end quote]

So tell us, ffbj, do you also object when someone uses the word “lady” to mean something other than a person who kneads bread, or uses the word “stadium” to refer to something other than an ancient Roman or Greek measure of length (about 185 meters)?


It’s not really the same thing. Sure words and phrases can come to mean things that are actually their opposite. Like dude that is really bad, where bad actually means good. Or any number of other examples. What I am railing against is a false sort of weight people apply by using such inaccurate terms. Just say years ahead, or leaping ahead of the competition.

You can say “we’re miles ahead of the competition”. Therefore “lightyears ahead” is a perfectly suitable metaphor.

But the mother of all hyperboles would have be: “We’re parsecs ahead of the competition”

I thought of that. So how we are quantum parsecs ahead of the competition? I think what bothers me is using the scientific terms to lend gravity to your arguments.

So yeah light years is also a measure of distance which I said in my post, but why not say light seconds or light minutes ahead, if you’re trying to portray how far ahead you are? Because a year is our conception of a long time, which is the emphasis.

They don’t use lightminutes or lightseconds for the same reason they don’t use parsecs: the general public barely knows from Star Trek that a ‘lightyear’ is a “f***ing long way”.

quan·tum jump

1. Physics
an abrupt transition of an electron, atom, or molecule from one quantum state to another, with the absorption or emission of a quantum.

2. a huge, often sudden, increase or change in something.
“the quantum jump in Jamie’s grades this semester are extremely encouraging”

Any change in letter grades is a quantum jump as there is not a continuum of values between one grade and the next. A quantum jump can also be a move to a lower value, so not necessarily encouraging.

P.S. “…quantum jump…are…”??? I would question the authority of this source if it cannot even use proper English grammar.


B+. Yes quantum jump is singular, (ack, it hurts to just to type that), maybe she quauntum jumps.

I rather understand it as something that moves by big jumps from one energy level to the other at once instead of in a continuous way. So the allusion to the quantum world is in that sense very pertinent.

Aren’t we more or less already there? The Kia Soul EV has 130+ miles of range. Whether it’s affordable is up for debate I guess.

European testing is not in miles. Nor is the number 130 under North American conditions.

Kia ev epa range is 93 miles. It also has a 27kwh battery which is bigger than egolf, i3 or leaf

“Translated to an EPA rating, we’d be looking at approximately 125 miles, which still beats today’s affordable electric cars.”

So Volkswagen is researching a battery tech which they hope will ultimately allow them to build an affordable 125 mile BEV.

Meanwhile, translated the claims of a “200 mile” BEV to an EPA rating: Tesla, GM, and Nissan are actually building the capacity to market a 150-160 mile EV in 2017 or 2018.

Perhaps VW is no longer denying that the EV revolution is here to stay, but clearly they’re still lagging years behind.

“..lagging years behind…”

How that so? The e-Golf is a perfectly competitive offering compared to the LEAF and other affordable BEV’s. It outsold said LEAF nearly 3:1 over the first 5 months of 2015 in the prime EV market in the world: Norway.

Interesting how they left out the details that would really tell you if it is a “quantum leap” or not. No energy density, no price, no capacity of the battery required to get said range.

Vaporware. PR and vaporware.

Research on all-electron battery was actually conducted in 2012 at Stanford so you can learn what to expect in terms of specs. Whether it can be inexpensive is still unanswered question.

Also, whether it even works looks unanswered to me.

After the announcements of Tesla of a 200+ real life miles Model 3 and the presentation of the GM Bolt having 200 miles range, there seem to be a mistake in the front number when they announce a 125 miles quantum leap. It should be at least a 2 making for a 225 miles range. The notion of affordable is also blurred because when you factor in the cost of fuel at 8 $/Gallon for most of Europe, you spare 25000$ on the life of the car. If you subtract the cost of electricity for the life of the car at about 5000$ you still gain a difference of 20000$. So if an affordable petrol car is 25000$, then an equivalent affordable electric car is at 45000$. You need to finance that of course so you pay more interest but on the other hand you also save on lower maintenance so that at least even up. So an affordable electric car is indeed one at 45000$, but it must be able to supercharge and run for at least 200 miles not 125. It is important that both consumers and car builders clearly understand that shift in the notion of affordability… Read more »

Dont know how you calculate, but your number is way of… Current prices of electricity i would get to 128.000 km if i had 5000€. For my car it would be around 3€/100km cheaper to go electric. This means at 128.000km i would save around 4.000€, not 20.000 !!!

Lets calculate:
– normal cars consume around 5-7l/100 km
(Example: i drive between 5-5.5 diesel, gasoline is a little bit more inefficient)

– Price is around 1.3€/liter (diesel), 1.5€/liter (gasoline)

This makes fuel cost between 6.5€/100km – 10.5€/100km.

Electric prices are also high, around 0.26€/kWh and assuming NECD cylce the Leaf uses 15kWh/100km (so i real its more like 17kWh probably). Using real values we arive at 4.42€/100 km

So you can say that electric cars are cheaper between 2 and 6€ per 100km.

Assuming 300.000km as the end of the life of a car you get 6000€ – 18000€ saved. So 20.000 saved might be possible, but only if you drive if for ages (~30 years) and if you previous car used a much fuel. I even met i3 owner who pay more for electricity than for fuel before.

Got it your electricity price is way too high. I count an average of 0,15/KWh for combined day and night tariffs (it can be full night by the way). So you would get to 250000 km with that price.
In the same time gasoline at 1,55/liter for 250000 km and 6,5 liter /100 km give you 2500*6,5*1,55=25000.
So this explains the numbers. Each one must run his own of course and find out accordingly.

Mr M.
Not sure you would see 300,000kms out of one battery pack, hence the numbers need to take into account of the cost of replacement of same.

I used to think Deucheland had pricey Juice, but at 29 cents / kilowatt-hour, thats cheaper than much of california and all of downstate NY State. I guess it all depends on how it is viewed. 1 1/2 years ago the sleazy British company National Grid (who bought up our own bankrupt – forced out of business Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation by Mario Cuomo and his gang (his son is our current Governor), tried to pull a fast one by charging around 21 cents per kilowatt-hour due to ‘unexpectedly cold weather rising natural gas usage’, except that I also heat my house that way and the local gas company hardly increased rates at all. This had a profound reaction: At the time we were used to paying 9-10 cents / kwh, and having rates suddenly more than double caused many to call up state politicians DEMANDING an investigation. National Grid could see which way the wind was blowing and lowered rates the following month from 21 to 8 cents / kwh, cheaper than it had even been before. In my own case I got tired of National Grid’s pricing, and bone-headed decisions causing some of it, and decided to go… Read more »