Volkswagen offers diesels, hybrids, electric cars and even plug-in hybrids depending on the market. And while a new promising fuel-source – hydrogen -was shown off at the 2014 LA Auto Show, the German company isn’t saying all future cars will run on this technology.
“We see both battery-electric cars and hydrogen cars as the future,” says Michael Franke from Volkswagens Technology Communications team in Germany. “Battery-electric cars work well in the city, for shorter commutes, while hydrogen powered cars would be ideal for longer trips.”
This strategy is in contrast to what Toyota is planning. The Japanese automaker has decided against spending much time and money on electric vehicles and is focusing its efforts on hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, like the Mirai, which will be released in 2015.
Franke, who was present during the test drives of the Passat HyMotion Research Vehicle, pointed out that VW’s hydrogen vehicles are pretty much ready for the general public. The company even went as far to reveal a hydrogen-powered Golf SportWagen at the 2014 LA Auto Show. With a range of 310 miles, this hydrogen powered Golf would have the best driving range of any hydrogen powered car available on the market, and can be refilled at a hydrogen station in under five minutes. That is, if it hit the market today…
Despite the unveiling of the new car, the automaker is not planning to offer a hydrogen-powered car until the fueling infrastructure is mature and ready.
For now, Volkswagen offers the e-Golf, an electric version of its popular compact hatchback. The e-Golf is available in CARB states (Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, Oregon, Vermont and California) for those looking for a zero-emissions vehicle. It features a driving range between 70 and 90 miles and a recharge time of four hours on a 240-volt charger. The e-Golf also uses the SAE standard DC fast chargers that can recharge the battery pack to 80 percent in approximately 30 minutes.
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