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VW to Reduce Fuel Consumption for Models in China by More Than 20%

1 April 2007

Volkswagen announced new environmental goals for China during the inauguration of its new engine plant in Dalian. These goals envisage a reduction in fuel consumption and emissions of more than 20% for models built at the plants operated by the two joint ventures—FAW-Volkswagen and Shanghai Volkswagen—by 2010. The new engine plant is designed for an annual production capacity of 300,000 units.

Volkswagen said it intends to become the most environmentally friendly automaker in China with the help of TFSI (Turbocharged Fuel Stratified Injection) engines (earlier post), new transmissions, lightweight design and unspecified further initiatives.

In addition, the company is currently arranging for the certification of all production sites in China to the ISO 14001 environmental management standard.

Shanghai Volkswagen and FAW-Volkswagen have already been complying with the standard for several years, the FAW-Volkswagen powertrain components plant was certified in February. The company has undertaken to recognize the ISO 14001 environmental management standard and plans to complete certification of all productions plants in China by the end of 2007

As the market leader in China we have an obligation to ensure that growth is compatible with the environment while also keeping ahead of government regulations.

—Dr. Winfried Vahland, President and CEO of Volkswagen Group China

Audi began making a 1.8-liter version of the direct-injection TFSI engine available in the A3 in January 2007.

April 1, 2007 in China, Engines, Fuel Efficiency | Permalink | Comments (27) | TrackBack (0)

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Hey VW! Get a f'n clue! Plug-in Hybrid is the future! Other automotive technology is obsolete! You won't earn green creditials building cars that aren't powered electrically. Got that, schweinhunt?

Wells:
Looks like VW is adopting GM's answer to building efficient cars, a much larger advertisement budget. The idea at GM being to continue to build lead sleds, ICEs and muscle cars; then paint them "green" with E85 Ad "Bull S..T." The world is crying for a quick response to the oil and warming problems and these guys are stuck in first gear moving slowly into the future of batteries and electric motor drives while still taking no chances.

If the automobile business is going to change, it will take rich companies like Google, who understands how to innovate quickly, to change it.

Have you seen the complication in today's engines. All this talk about expensive electric motor operated cams, variable intakes, ECMs with drive cycles to prove the operation of the computers, etc. What a mess! Much of this expensive electromechanical maintenance complication goes away when you use plug-in EVs.

The first large member of Big Auto who mass produces the Plug-in will own the business and they are too hung up on having to make a profit for the shareholders to take the chance. The door is open for Tesla to walk right through; but, Tesla is too small to ever meet the market production demand and make a difference.

Honda made civic HX's in 1997, that do 50 mpg hwy.
Plugin Hybrids are good, but for people that are outside
the big cities it is not a necessity, only high mpg is
needed. Plugin hybrids are just a very large niche market,
not the only solution that is needed. My use is
60 mi round trip, once per week. I would like to see
60 mpg for long trips asap. This Honda has 150,000 miles
on it, and I would like find something better these 10
years later. I think VW's efforts are worth while.

VW have been shipping all their outdated engine designs to China for decades,
maybe they just got a conscience !
I would think that it will be china that paves the way towards the affordable EV

The 1.8TFSI...? When did that even come out... I know they made the 1.4TFSI which in its own right destroys anything that the 'big 3' have ever made in their entire history, but if I'm not mistaken, this must be very very new technology that they are building in China.

As always the N.American market doesn't understand a god damn thing about anything and only buys what they are told to - hybrids are the answer to everything, diesel will kill you, e85 is the best solution to everything.

As iterated above hybrids, petrol ones anyway, are great in towns and cities, but i bet a 1.8TFSI A3 gets pretty close.

(a) China tracks European emissions regs, which greatly simplifies the homologation process.

(b) Fuel prices in China are similar to those in the US (i.e. ~50% lower than in most of Europe), but disposable income in China is much lower. That said, it's unclear if the official exchange or purchasing power parity rates were used for the study cited below.

http://www.gtz.de/de/dokumente/en-international-fuelprices-2007.pdf

It's therefore not at all surprising that VW would try to bring what fuel efficiency technology it already has in series production to the Chinese market. Perhaps they were told to do so.

PHEVs aren't ready for series production anywhere yet and China cannot afford to simply wait a decade. The politburo needs technologies for fuel conservation ASAP in order to sustain high growth and the people's tolerance of continued Communist rule. It probably also wants to avoid future military conflict with the US over the world's oil resources.

@ Wells: you're entitled to your opinion about which technologies make sense and, you are free to criticize whomever you wish. Just refrain from swearing on this site, please.

Like anybody cares.

"We have an obligation to ensure that growth is compatible with the environment"... It should be noted that the word "growth" takes precedence to the word "enviornment". Untill you see the reverse, the real cost of "staying the course", with the
ICE engine and its true global (carbon footprint) ramifications,
will be rather costly indeed. Don't count out the intelligence of the burgeoning Asian consumer middle class. Their consumption is rapidly growing and Big Oil can't keep up with their demand.
They know that renewables are the answer, and enviormental degradation has huge untold costs moving forward. They need
only a little more time, to build out their infrastructure, before they can correct market inefficiencies in the Energy Market. It sure doesn't help that the capitol markets are not
taking bolder steps to enable a choice moving forward. Just remember where the world has its significant investments, it is in existing infrastructure that needs its revenue stream to keep flowing to remain profitable. Unfortunately, profit drives preformance in this regard.

Rafael.

Well said. Besides, if you're going to use German, at least spell it right.

Rafael, why don't you do with my posts, what I do with most of yours: don't read them. You've probably been doing just that already, like I care. You're as certain about your opinion as I am about mine, but you go on and on and on, blah blah blah. I would lighten up on my advocacy for Plug-in Hybrids, but I have yet to hear anyone on this forum delve as fully into their potential.

A car of any size with a limited driving range of battery power, creates an incentive to drive shorter distances. This incentive affects development patterns that ultimately bring home closer to other daily destinations, making them more accessable via walking, bicycling and mass transit. If we only plan to increase CAFE mileage, development patterns will continue increasing the separation, negating any advance in mileage. Uuuuh, huh?

Wells wrote: Rafael, ... You're as certain about your opinion as I am about mine...

The thing is, Rafael's is correct...

Rafael is incorrect, George. PHEV is ready for production with the basic and proven Prius-type hybrid which readily converts. Plus, he uses abbreviations like "regs", words like homologation, and expressions like "not at all surprising". Get real. And don't tell me those nasty natsy's didn't just love being called pig dogs. I give you one guess what they built most of with all that Polish steel.

How are small scale PHEVs not ready yet? Even if it's as small as babying the packs like HEVs (like not letting 'em drop below 40% and only charging to 80%) do, it's still something.

Also, couldn't a home charger trickle the batteries up to a fuel SOC w/o the problems associated w/ doing it in a vehicle, like via the regen brakes or energy from the gas motor?

I prefer that we exercise a level of decorum that Rafael has asked for.I have taken exception to some of Rafs points at times but I have in general been educated by his posts.
When dialogue degenerates to,yeah oh yeah, we resemble congress ranting to the right and to the left and accomplishing nothing.
I eagerly await a plug in like the Volt but see the big auto Companies all leaning towards 2010 as a rollout date.If Vw can achieve 20% reduction in mpg and emissions then god bless them.
Many in the world are crying for a quick response but not all and not all costs.Trucks and SUV's are still selling at quite a clip.Toyota is developing bigger and more powerful vehicles to capture some of that market.
Adopting a one size fits all,magic bullet tech answer,may simply put all your eggs in one{ev1} basket and risk having it crushed.I enbrace a broad range of tech aimed at better economy and better emissions.I think this approach has a better prospect at achieving a true green and clean energy infrastructure in the future.There is no one tech that can be enforced upon the industry and consumers that will usher in a green nirvana right now,right away.

Dassault already have an order for 20,000 Cleanova PHEVs.

Amen, Earl!

I like reading a diversity of opinions, and I don't mind disagreements. But getting nasty accomplishes nothing.

Wells, if you think PHEV technology is ready for volume production why don't you give us the facts that support your assertion. A few converted Priuses and some swear words is not a very compelling argument. Explain your opinion more thoroughly, and I will read your post.

Pretty much everyone who reads GCC thinks PHEVs are a good thing, and wants them sooner rather than later. Toyota will probably intro one pretty soon. It does take time to ramp up new technology for mass production. That's especially true in the automotive industry which has severe cost, safety, and reliability requirements.

Is 20,000 not volume production? How many units annually counts for volume production?

Clett,

Are you saying that conversion of Priuses to PHEVs has reached 20k/yr? That would be news to me. Are they PHEV10s, PHEV20s, or PHEV40s? I believe the converted Prius shown on the White House lawn a couple of weeks ago used lithium ion batteries. Do most of the conversions use lithium ion or NiMH? Also, do the conversions still invalidate the manufacturer's warranty, or has Toyota softened their stance on that?

20k/yr of PHEVs using lithium ion cells will be a significant milestone. I don't think we've reached it yet, but if somebody has the facts I'd like to see a post.

Clett , I think the order is for 10000 Cleanova´s, however whether or not they decide
to produce them is anybodys guess . I have been trying to contact this company for
some time now to find out if they will take my money in exchange for an electric
kangoo , and up till now they have been very elusive.
They seem to be very close to the French Government , and are now I believe trying to find a way of taxing the electric car for road use, they were very elusive
at the Geneva show not wanting to talk about pricing , and whether or not the
battery would be included in the sale , or leased ! It all seems pretty dodgey to me , and reeks of government interferance.

Think has also reappeared with a new website this week , and claim they will
be delivering cars this year in Norway , although at nearly 30000 dollars its hardly
a bargin, at that seems to be without the battery if I translated the norwiegan
correctly , it seems they have dropped all thoughts of Lithium ion and are using
Mes Dea´s 20kwh zebra pack instead , with the option for 28kwh at extra cost . Ford
spent some 250 million dollars on this car when they had tenancy of this company
obviously nothing was done to reduce costs .
On the subject of PHEV Mes Dea will have their Fiat Idea hybrid out by the
end of this year , you do have to wonder what Gm and the other big companies
are up to when a small swiss company like Mes Dea can get a PHEV out a full
two years in advance of the big boys , but I think it proves that the technology
is ready, anything else must just be a stalling tactic.

Were VW to produce Pruis-type hybrids, these could convert to PHEV. But, because they are cheered-on by supporters who believe fuel economy and the status quo alone is the answer, VW continues building standard ICE powered vehicles, and conversion to PHEV is much more complicated if not impossible. You want statistics? Number 1

Andrichrose,

The info you posted is interesting, but it contradicts your conclusion. A few small companies have made various announcements about BEVs and PHEVs. You describe them as "elusive," and "not wanting to talk about pricing." That hardly constitutes mass production. I'm saving my money so that when a major manufacturer makes a BEV or a PHEV that is available (i.e., no 6 month waiting list) I'll be able to buy one. In the meantime if people want to save fuel using other technologies, which was after all the original subject of this post, then what's wrong with that?

Also, one would expect small companies to beat the big boys to the punch with PHEVs, or any other new technology for that matter. Big companies have to protect their reputations (whether already damaged - e.g., GM; or untarnished - e.g., Toyota), and they have to plan for at least 50k/yr production to even make a project financially worthwhile.

So, a small company like Tesla can always take the lead by introducing a niche vehicle for $100k, and take orders for a few hundred copies. I'll bet you a dollar a large company will ship the 100,000th BEV or PHEV well before one of the upstarts. It may even be a GM Volt. Wouldn't that be a surprise for a lot of people?

James EE

I think our problem here in europe will always be the problem of taxation , with most european governments levying road fuel at 80% any move towards electric is seen as a threat . Governments know how good these cars are now , and are, I believe trying
to slow down the eventual indroduction, until they have got some sort road pricing
system worked out using GPS.
As for buying a BEV,here in Italy there are now two companies
manufacturing the Mes Dea Fiat panda ,one is only 4 km from my house , when I
visted a couple of weeks ago I was told that delivery was running at 4 weeks .
This car retails for 32000 swiss francs which is about 24000 dollars , but it is definitly available now . This is the sort of car that you need over there in the states
to sort your energy woes out !

Enough already with this "energy crisis" or "energy shortage" talk. Look at the data. Oil reserves are growing, production is increasing, and growing demand (ie. the market") will ensure that we are producing 120-150 MMbpd of oil in 10-15 years. There are no physical or geological constraints on the production of oil. Only constraints of the imagination. I look forward to the day when the Big 3 automakers return to doing what they do best -- big trucks and heavy horsepower cars -- and start delivering them to China and the developing world. The Invisible Hand of the Market will provide, despite the naysayers.

I don't know about the word "crisis" but a converging situation of limited supplies and rapidly growing demand is something to be dealt with, or not. If we chose not to, then maybe the C word will have to be used sooner than we think.

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