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Volkswagen Group planning to launch 6 or more plug-in hybrids from 2014; the role of the MQB in the Group’s electrification plans
11 March 2013
As part of its approach to e-mobility, the Volkswagen Group intends to launch at least 6 new plug-in hybrid models starting in 2014 and beyond, said Oliver Schmidt, General Manager Engineering and Environmental Office, Volkswagen Group of America, at the recent SAE 2013 Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Technologies Symposium. He was careful to note that “launch” referred to the global launch dates for global product—i.e., not the launch in a particular market.
Currently, Volkswagen has 5 hybrids in production—the VW Touareg, the Porsche Cayenne S, the Audi Q5, the Porsche Panamera S and the VW Jetta—with the hybrid versions of the Audi A6 and A8 on the way, Schmidt noted, adding:
In Europe first we launch the two BEVs, the up! or small compact car and the Golf. We will launch the Porsche 918 [plug-in hybrid]. Then in ’14 and beyond the products that we want to do are plug-in hybrids for the bigger Audis. We want to have a plug-in hybrid version of the European Passat. The European Passat sits on a different platform than the US Passat. Then the plug-in hybrid Golf, and of course there will be more vehicles coming.—Oliver Schmidt
Volkswagen’s MQB (modularen Querbaukasten, or Modular Transverse Matrix), standardizes many transverse-mounted engine vehicle component parameters across brands and vehicle classes while also offering access to new technologies.
|Alternative powertrain building blocks in the MQB. Source: Volkswagen. Click to enlarge.|
One of the effects of the MQB was to standardize the orientation of every engine. For example, Schmidt noted, for the last 6 generations of the Golf, the small gasoline engine always tilted forward, while the diesel was oriented the other way. Every engine now has the same orientation and assembly posistion, helping to simplify the creation of alternative powertrains such as hybrids and plug-in hybrids.
|Volkswagen Group targeting 95 g/km CO2 emissions by 2020|
|In the runup to the Geneva Motor Show, the Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG, Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, said that the Group is committing to reducing the CO2 output of the European new car fleet to 95 grams per kilometer by 2020.|
|This makes the Volkswagen Group the first automaker to commit to this target, which corresponds to fuel consumption of less than 4.0l/100 km (59 mpg US).|
|Winterkorn also stated that Volkswagen would reach its self-imposed target of reducing the CO2 output of its European new vehicle fleet to less than 120 g/km by 2015.|
|Volkswagen is advocating credits of the type which are used in the USA and China for especially eco-friendly vehicles to be introduced in Europe, as well.|
|Winterkorn underlined that the development of increasingly efficient technologies, powertrains and vehicles and environmentally sustainable production would account for more than two thirds of the total investment of €50.2 billion (US$65.3 billion) planned by the Group up to 2015.|
|“Our one-liter car, the XL1, is a technological spearhead. With fuel consumption of 0.83 liters and 21 grams CO2 per kilometer, the XL1 sets new long-term standards in the automotive industry. The technologies used in the XL1 find their way into our series vehicles. That applies in particular to plug-in hybrid technology, which we are systematically pursuing.”|
Volkswagen’s CrossBlue SUV plug-in hybrid concept, introduced at this year’s Detroit Auto Show (earlier post), highlights the evolution of some of Volkswagen’s hybrid components that will play a role in future MQB-based electrification efforts, Schmidt noted.
Specifically, the CrossBlue uses the next-generation DQ400e dual-clutch transmission with 40kW electric motor mated to the 140 kw (188 hp) EA288 TDI diesel in the front, along with an 85 kW electric motor at the rear axle. The DQ400E will be the Group’s main near-term gearbox for all hybrid and plug-in hybrid applications that are transverse, Schmidt noted. (The Jetta Hybrid (earlier post), a full hybrid, uses the DQ-200E.)
|Sample Volkswagen plug-in hybrid electric powertrain with the DQ400e. Click to enlarge.|
A sample plug-in hybrid powertrain could combine the DQ400e (with an integrated 80 kW electric motor and an EA211 1.4-liter TSI delivering 110 kW (148 hp), Schmidt suggested.
As reflected in the DQ400E, Volkswagen Group currently has different parts for gearbox, motor and power electronics—i.e., a transmission with individual ratios, external power electronics and traction power distributor.
The next-generation system, Schmidt said, will see the integration of the motor and the power electronics—i.e., a transmission with individual ratios mated with a traction motor with integrated power electronics, incl. DC/DC converter.
The follow-on generation will see the “integration of everything”—Coaxial drive with integrated power electronics; a coaxial drive with optional DC/DC converter and traction power distributor (front-/rear- wheel drive). “We will get rid of the gearbox,” Schmidt said.
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