|The Golf TwinDrive PHEV.|
Volkswagen chairman and CEO Prof. Martin Winterkorn and German Federal Environment Minister (Bundesumweltminister) Sigmar Gabriel introduced a prototype VW plug-in hybrid electric vehicle—the Golf TwinDrive—at the launch of a four-year PHEV fleet and vehicle-to-grid (V2G) demonstration project supported by the German Federal Government.
Eight German alliance partners are participating in the “Fleet test: electric drive vehicles” (“Flottenversuch Elektromobilität”). Volkswagen AG is leading the project, with E.ON (energy provider) and LTC/GAIA and Evonik/Li-Tec (lithium-ion battery providers) as principal partners. Also contributing from the research side are Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, Heidelberg Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (Ifeu), the German Center for Aerospace Technology (DLR), and the Westphalian Wilhelms University at Münster.
|TwinDrive under the hood. Click to enlarge.|
The project will demonstrate the use of electricity generated by renewable energy such as wind and solar for powering up to 20 PHEVs in a fleet trial under real-world conditions. The project will also evaluate the use of various vehicle-to-grid (V2G) methods of integrating these vehicles into the electric power grid for stabilization purposes.
At the present time the automobile is unthinkable without a highly efficient diesel or gasoline engine. The future however, and that is certain, will belong to the electric motors fueled by the wall power plug. On this way to the future, our innovative motors (TDI/TSI) combined with electric motors and highly efficient battery systems create advanced propulsion systems.
In the framework of the fleet test, we will be deploying up to twenty vehicles with the newly developed drive concept. Different than today’s hybrid vehicles, it should be emphasized that TwinDrive—and this is decisive—enables long ranges in the city in electric mode. While the E-motor on a typical hybrid model just supplements the combustion engine, the exact opposite is true on the TwinDrive: here the diesel or gasoline engine supplements the E-motor.
“In the framework of “Fleet test: electric drive vehicles”, Volkswagen will be investing double-digit millions in advanced development of this technology.—Prof. Martin Winterkorn, CEO of Volkswagen AG
On a typical commuting route of 100 km (62 miles), the Golf TwinDrive consumes 8 kWh of electricity and 2.5 liters of fuel. Together, the electric motor and engine provide output of up to 130 kW (174 hp).
Lithium Technology Corporation’s (LTC) German subsidiary, GAIA Akkumulatorenwerke GmbH (GAIA), will deliver a total of seven lithium-ion battery packs based on iron phosphate cathode chemistry with energy capacity of about 12kWh for the project.
In 2006, LTC said that it was developing, in conjunction with a then-unnamed automaker (VW), a 12 kWh Li-ion battery system that should support a plug-in hybrid application in a four-passenger vehicle. (Earlier post.)
This fleet test can make a contribution toward unifying mobility and climate protection in an entirely novel way. That is because it is only through close cooperation of partners from the automotive, battery and energy producing industries that we will be able to utilize electrical power obtained from renewable sources in personal transportation with very high efficiency.—Federal Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel