It is widely known that Volkswagen plan to dominate the EV world by 2018. CEO, Dr Martin Winterkorn, has stated: “We have the most comprehensive approach to tomorrow’s mobility. From highly-efficient, eco-friendly diesel, gasoline and natural gas-fuelled engines to classical hybrids, purely battery-driven vehicles and plug-in hybrids – no other automaker can match the broad range we have to offer.” They plan to have 14 electric and hybrid models across their various brands by the end of 2014. Winterkorn added, “The electric car cannot be a compromise on wheels, it must convince customers in every respect.” That convincing is currently the domain of Tesla’s Elon Musk and his incredible Model S.
VW’s plans are ambitious and they have the global might to make good on bringing them to fruition. They have hedged their bets with plugin charger standards giving them the ability to go with whatever systems will be in place for a range of charging modes. Now it’s reported in The Telegraph they are on the verge of announcing new battery technology set to double the range of current models. It’s been suggested that the new technology may be Lithium air batteries – that would be a surprise as Lithium air holds enormous potential but has faced some challenging technical issues. From an energy density point of view Lithium air is as energy dense as petrol. It is no secret that VW have been working on Lithium air batteries but no one is expecting a major breakthrough with air batteries for at least ten years.