Volkswagen Powertrain Boss: 370 Miles Of Electric Range Possible For BEVs By 2020
Virtually anything is possible, but are the claims made by Volkswagen’s head of powertrain development probable?
VW head of powertrain development, Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neusser, had plug-ins on his mind when he told various media outlets that electric range for BEVs will increase substantially over the coming years:
“[Plug-in hybrid technology] is completely a bridging technology [and] we have two bridging technologies.”
“At one end there is plug-in hybrid technology and at the other is fuel cells, because both enlarge your operating range of the car when you have no recharging system available. When you have a recharging system it’s the easiest way to plug in the car, to recharge the battery and to drive electric.”
“Battery [technology] makes the biggest steps in very short time frames. If you look at when we started with the e-mobility of the Golf, and you look now to the Passat, we have done the first step.”
“We have more energy density in the batteries [than before], and in 2015-16 will come the next step which means we come from 25-28 ampere hours (Ah) energy density to 36-37Ah. Now we are actually working on the next step to around 60Ah… with research will come a completely new electro-chemical chemistry inside the batteries, and this will come at the beginning of the next decade.”
“We have to look to the e-Golf, which had an operating range of around 190km. I expect the next generation in 2015-17 will increase to around 300km and the following step will be around 500-600km.”
Turns out Neusser is one of the talkative types.
Neuesser discussed charging too:
“It is dependent on different markets and countries, or how the infrastructure grows, because when you have such a high energy load inside the batteries, you need a very powerful recharging system.”
“You can’t recharge with 3.6kW (domestic power), it takes a very long time. You need minimum 50, 80 or perhaps even 90kW recharging power, and these are water-cooled recharging systems, very high performance recharging systems.”
“But, people are working on this, and I expect it will come, but it takes a little bit of time until it’s there. And we are free to continue with PHEV technology to bridge [the gap until] each country has time enough to bring their infrastructure this way.”