Volkswagen Group Slide Shows Plug-In Electric Car Plans


From viewing this slide, it appears that Volkswagen group will at least dabble in all forms of alternative transportation technologies, including hybrid, plug-in hybrid, pure electric and fuel cells.

What’s more, all of these technologies will presumably be offered across all of VW Group’s 3 core brands (Volkswagen, Audi & Porsche).

The vehicle we’re most excited to see is the pure electric Porsche, which presumably will be more of a Tesla Model S-like offering.

This electric Porsche is expected to have a range of 265 miles and will likely launch in late 2017.Β  The latest rumor is that Porsche may show a concept version of the car sometime later this year.

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57 Comments on "Volkswagen Group Slide Shows Plug-In Electric Car Plans"

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Hmmm. Wasn’t this the same company that claimed to want to be the #1 manufacturer of electric vehicles in the world? Maybe they’re counting hybrids and plug-in hybrids. In my book, that doesn’t count.

Then your book needs editing. Any vehicle which is built to be propelled by electric motors is an EV, and that certainly includes PHEVs.

I think your book is the one that needs editing.

Any vehicle with an ICE is not an EV.

We have a name for vehicles with an electric motor and an ICE;it is called hybrid.

In your book is a vehicle without an ICE, but with a fuel cell, an EV?

it’s “irrelevant,” at best. Often greenwashing.

Robb Stark said:

“We have a name for vehicles with an electric motor and an ICE;it is called hybrid.”

Also known as “HEV”, or Hybrid Electric Vehicle.

It’s just bizarre that some people try to insist that if the car contains an ICEngine, it “can’t be” an EV. That’s as silly as saying if your couch folds out into a bed, it can’t actually be a couch, or saying that your kid’s Transformers toy can’t be both a car and a robot.

In the real world, things are capable of being two things at the same time.

Can you plug it in? That is the question.

That’s my litmus test too. It’s not the propulsion that matters, but the fuel source. In order to be called an electric car, it MUST be able to use electric fuel at a bare minimum.

A traditional hybrid doesn’t count as an electric car. In fact, a non-plug-in hybrid isn’t really hybrid fuel at all, just hybrid propulsion. It’s still 100% fueled by gasoline.

A plug-in hybrid is an actual hybrid from the fuel perspective – it combines both gasoline and electricity.

A fuel-cell car, similarly, would not be an electric car without a plug. And even then it’s a hybrid too. But instead of combining gasoline and electricity like a “PHEV”, it combines hydrogen and electricity – a “PHFCV” if you will.

So you would call a hybrid with a plug, that has a pure electric driving range of 1 km at walking speed, an electric vehicle?

Why are you trying so hard to draw a hard line that you invent some ridiculous imaginary vehicle? If the only benefit of the plug was to get 1km AER at a walking speed, no one would invest in the charging hardware. If it continues to improve MPG over a non-plug-in hybrid for say 20 miles, what is wrong with that?

The line is clearly not a line but a spectrum. Even commenters here don’t agree where the line is. I offered my opinion, and it’s just that – an opinion.

Brian said: “The line is clearly not a line but a spectrum. Even commenters here don’t agree where the line is.” This is correct. There is a spectrum, with pure ICEV at one end and pure BEV at the other end. Where we draw the line is a matter of opinion. That spectrum includes micro-hybrids, mild hybrids, parallel/combined hybrids, serial hybrids (most FCEVs are a sub-category of that), plug-in hybrids, and BEVs. What irks me is that some people want to try to redefine the term “EV” to mean only BEVs. They are of course entitled to their opinion, but if the consensus opinion was that only a BEV can be an EV, then we wouldn’t have commonly used acronyms such as PHEV and FCEV. The term “electric vehicle” means a vehicle propelled by electric motors, and that’s all it means. It does not mean or imply anything about the source of the electricity used to propel the car. That source could be electricity stored in batteries, or it could be electricity generated onboard by a fuel cell, or — in the case of a diesel-electric train locomotive — generated by a diesel-powered onboard generator. When you have time, look… Read more »

My book says, “Any vehicle with a plug is a step in the right direction”.

The problem with gas, diesel, or even hydrogen is you are stuck to the economies of one commodity. Electricity allows the commodity to change without scrapping the vehicle technology.


This is a great way to say it. It doesn’t matter if a HEV is “electric” or not – that’s just semantics. What matters is true fuel choice.

Hybrids only run an ICE-generated electricity, so they aren’t really EVs, just really efficient gas cars.

The GM Volt is a “hybrid”. It’s a PHEV. It also is most certainly an EV, and the average Volt drives 71% of its miles on electricity charged from a plug and store in an onboard battery pack.

It’s ridiculous to try to claim that a car which performs as a BEV for well over half its miles “isn’t an EV”.

It is a plug-in hybrid not just a hybrid. It is the plug-in part that makes it electric.

VW is seriously thinking about manufacturing “fool cell” cars? Dang, I thought they were smarter than that.

Reminds me of the myth* of the lemming migration, where they all mindlessly follow the leaders in jumping off the cliff to drown in the fjord.

*Yes, it’s just a myth. Lemmings do not actually commit mass suicide.

+1 on working in the word “fjord” in a post!
+1 for spelling it correctly. πŸ˜‰

My Norwegian Blue parrot is pining for the fjords. πŸ˜‰

Lemmings, or Muskrats? I don’t see much independent thinking here on this blog, to be honest. Or perhaps the animal metaphor most appropriate is “parroting”–your points are far from original.

Why the personal attack, “Three Electrics”? Are you one of the few die-hards who still won’t admit that “fool cell” cars are a dead-end technology? There’s a difference between independent thinking… and refusing to admit science and facts represent reality.

BTW — InsideEVs is not a “blog”. It’s a news website which allows reader comments. Try looking up the definition of “blog” sometime.

They just want to capture a higher market-share.

Most interesting is icons related to FCEVs … [Battery] H2 [Electric Plug-in]
(using [text] as icon characters don’t dissplay in comments)

I caught that also. I wonder how much AER VW Group is planning to give to its plug-in FCEVs.

Yes, this is the first time I have seen an FCV shown with a plug. This suggests the battery is a more major component and the fuel cell is small, just large enough to serve as a range extender.

Regardless, I think hydrogen fuel cells for cars is a big mistake, but Germany seems to be the most committed. We should all sit back and watch Germany’s hydrogen program for several years before determining if it is successful. I predict initial enthusiasm followed by a slow decline in usage as people decide BEVs are the way to go.

Audi showed the “A7 Sportback h-tron” in November 2014. That was the first instance of a plug-in FCEV that I had seen.

IF fuel cells ever go main stream, big if, I see this as the logical application, range extender. But again, BIG if.

A slow decline in usage is already happening BECAUSE it has a plug on it. Significant battery capacity means battery investment (from automaker, supplier, and researcher) is assured, as if laptops and stationary storage hadn’t already done this.

Audi has also been involved in establishing renewable cycles where H2 and/or biofuels are generated with renewable electricity and I think they even managed Co2 sequestration…I think algae were involved…I’ll have to find the article…I think it was from Green Car Congress over a year ago…

So, yeah, not surprising that VW group would seriously consider H2 propulsion.

Just saying that H2 is from renewable energy sources doesn’t tell the whole story.

1) That renewable energy source would be FAR more efficiently used if it were put directly into a battery to power a car. Unfortunately for H2, this consumed energy isn’t just 10 or 20% more… it’s HUNDREDS of percent more energy consumed per equivalent distance traveled.

2) H2 production must be from a carbon rich fossil fuel, or there would be no need for CO2 sequestration. If water is used, which is already difficult in California, it will consume even more energy to produce H2.

3) In order to transfer the H2 from a filling station to the vehicle, that H2 must be both:

a. Pressurized to 10,000psi (700 atmospheres of pressure)
b. Cooled to -25C

both of which consume a handsome amount MORE energy.

EVs refueled solely by electricity will ALWAYS BE FAR MORE EFFICIENT. It’s not even close.

Still most manufacturers are promoting FCVs as the end game. I find it interesting that GM who was early into FCV research and has built several FCV trial fleets has been quiet on this for several years now. Have they stopped their FCV program? Realized it is a dead end path?

GM partnered with Honda on fuel cells, and they are working together on Honda’s upcoming FCV. I don’t think GM has announced any plans for releasing a FCV under any of its own nameplates. I’ve read that GM still holds the most hydrogen patents of any automaker.

There’s no pressure for GM to be in the fuel cell game right now, with all their regulatory zero emission stuff handled with the Volt, Spark and near future Bolt.

They were late to the game with Spark, but they have handled that marvelously by building just the bare minimum compliant cars and selling them in just two, and now three regulatory states. They’ve also spent next to zero on any infrastructure. For an old world auto maker, I’d call that a huge win!

Since I predict that both the Bolt and Volt will be successful as cars, GM really doesn’t have to worry about hydrogen for many years, if ever.

Toyota has the reverse situation. They don’t have to worry about EVs with the Prius and Mirai hydrogen car. Except for the Chinese market that requires it, I don’t expect them to offer any EV for years, either.

But, I do predict that contrary to the “end game” professed by the state of California and Toyota, amongst others, I don’t expect hydrogen to win for personal ground transport.

Is the state of California worried about electricity production?

Why the need to spend so much splitting between two technologies, when one is clearly gaining traction?

Well if we get to the point where we have clean energy coming out the wazoo then I can see H2 catching on due to the ability to refuel fast.

But I don’t see us having clean energy coming out the wazoo in the next 50 years. Only way I see that happening is if they manage to harness fusion energy or solar PV prices drop even further.

Because of market forces, we will never have it coming out of the “wazoo”.

Renewable energy (all energy for that matter) takes massive amount of capital expenditure to get it built. If there is no excess energy demand, there will be no ROI. No ROI means, no capital to build the infrastructure.

This is true even for rooftop solar. If grid electricity rates dropped to $0.04 / kWh, solar adoption would fall off the map.

I hate to keep pounding the drum But…- Fuel cells = corporate control. BEV = independence
Why wouldn’t big corporations be promoting FCEV and big Oil not be the primary andvocates and funding for this technology?
wake up guys and don’t be seduced to accept FCEVs as the end game. The people won’t be the benefactors of this technology.

I certainly agree, but what pisses me off most is that the beneficiaries, i.e. big oil, are not the ones putting any money into this. The governments world wide have been funding research through grants to auto companies and they seem to be ok with using taxpayer money to set up the incredibly costly hydrogen distribution network. Since it is big oil that wants this, they should pay 100% of the costs!

Big Oil wants our cars to run on – wait for it – Oil. Hydrogen is just a consolation prize. Why would they push it any harder than just enough to suppress EVs as long as possible?

Bingo. The hydrogen game can be fought “in the air” (media hype), so there’s little reason to commit “ground troops” (actual distribution and sites).

Yeah, it is a FUD battle . . . just keep promising it as coming soon. Just like all the coal people that keep touting coal CCS . . . but never really deliver it.

This article agrees with you:

but my point is that with the way things are moving including the pending California 2030 initiative that will require zero emissions:

in about 15 or 20 years there will bemany fewer ICE cars. Big oil will need a place to dump there money – yes fuel cell stations

I can spell actually – I hate that you can’t edit these posts – does anyone know how?

You can’t get there from here.


Which happens first, plug-ins capture 10% market share, or IEVs gets comment edit πŸ˜‰

Statoil is a big oil company and they do install quick chargers at their gasstation. By your definition, electric vehicles are corporate controlled now.

You don’t have to use their quick chargers. But you HAVE to use H2 filling stations. Can’t do that at home.

We are in agreement. I was more responding to Roy’s question about why Big Oil isn’t paying for hydrogen infrastructure. When I called hydrogen a “consolation prize”, I was alluding to exactly what you point out. Big Oil would rather we continue the status quo. However, many regulations around the world (notably in the US, China, and EU) are tightening rather quickly. They cannot continue to sell us oil, but hydrogen allows them to at least keep a similar business model. EVs require an entirely new way of thinking. It is rare at best that such an established industry would be the pioneer.

So to me it makes sense that Big Oil isn’t leading the way in development of a hydrogen infrastructure. Basically Big Governments are telling Big Oil to clean up their act. So in return, Big Oil is telling them to help pay for it (or better yet – pay for it completely).

And the manufacturers of the electric vehicles are not evil big corporations?

This is Germany not the USA the equation on is more like:

BEV = more imported gas from Russia to balance grid + lost revenue from turning off RE during times of excess


FCEV = increased renewables via grid balancing electrolysers – gas / power imports from other nations.

Clearly it is not as simple as that, and yes FCEV’s are less efficient and less developed but the 1 technology beats all others theory is non-sense. There will be a mix of technologies in the future just like there is a mix now.

BTW Germany has no natural gas reserves or big oil companies to speak of. If Germany follows through on it’s plans then the only 100% renewable powered vehicles will be FCEV’s with everything else at least deriving a small amount of the energy it uses to move from a fossil source.

I wonder if I will be reading blogs in 10 years time with people complaining about those terrible renewable energy companies that are manipulating the government to increase the number of FCEV’s on the road?

Just_Chris “…the 1 technology beats all others theory is non-sense. There will be a mix of technologies in the future just like there is a mix now.” There was a time, early in the motorcar revolution, when EVs, steam-powered cars, and gasmobiles all competed more or less equally, and it wasn’t clear which technology would prevail. But gasmobiles proved to have more potential for improvement, and within less than 20 years after Ford started producing the Model T, there were virtually no new EVs or steam-powered cars being built. The idea that there “isn’t one single best technology” for powering mass produced vehicles is ignoring both reality and history rather firmly. There seems very little doubt that the future of transportation belongs to EVs powered by electricity generated offboard but stored onboard. At present, the only reasonable question is just what technology will be used to store the electricity onboard. Looking further into the future, the only possible alternative I see is if we get some sort of small, affordable nuclear-electric device which can directly convert nuclear power to electricity onboard cars. We can be absolutely certain that horribly inefficient forms of powering a car will never become widespread. A… Read more »

You really think H2 creation is much cheaper & more efficient than pumped-hydro, compressed air, batteries, thermal storage, synthetic gasses, selling to other countries, flywheels, etc.? I doubt it.

I see the in the fcev column all the vehicles are under wraps. I think this would be the best place to leave them.



It’s bizarre that VW arranged the columns to show advancing electrification of cars, but then put the column for FCEVs to the right of BEVs! FCEVs are a retreat from the ultimate in electrification, the BEV. At best, they’re a compromise that some claim as “superior” to BEVs only because of less refueling time, and will have that advantage only until batteries (or whatever we wind up storing electricity in) improve to the point that BEVs can be charged quickly.

Why the duck is the Jetta and Golf even in the same category?!

Look again. The only “category” they share is that they both have the Volkswagen badge. In fact, the chart makes it clear that they do not share the same level of electrification.