Volkswagen electric car battery upgrades in 2017

Volkswagen e-up and e-Golf

Sometimes the VW acronym seems more like Vapor Ware than Volks Wagen, with all those frequent press releases promising new electric cars for a distant future. VW does this to try to convince us that the technology isn’t ready yet, so they can keep selling polluting cars. I really dislike VW’s strategy and try to ignore all those annoying press releases.

 

But, from time to time, VW is more than Vapor Ware and announces something real in the electric mobility field.

 

VW CEO, Matthias Müller has announced this:

 

“We are now bringing in January a Golf with a genuine range of 300 kilometers to the market.”

 

Müller also added that the new e-up! should be able to drive about 200 kilometers on a single battery charge.

 

That 300 km range is a NEDC figure and very difficult to achieve in the real world.

 

Volkswagen has been using 25 Ah Panasonic/Sanyo cells for most of its plug-in cars, while Volkswagen Passat GTE and Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid that were released later, are already using 28 Ah cells, these cells were planned as the next upgrade for other plug-in cars.

 

Volkswagen’s plan in 2014 for future battery upgrades

 

In 2014, Volkswagen’s plan was to release minor battery upgrades every year until they reached the 36 Ah cells, even with 37 Ah cells already available. This way they would force electric car owners to change their cars every year if they wanted to get more range. A well thought planned obsolescence strategy. Now Volkswagen is forced to jump right into 37 Ah cells by the increased competition, especially with the recent release of the BMW i3 with more range.

 

Let’s see what Volkswagen Group electric cars will get with the 37 Ah cells. For my calculations I’ll use the more common 3,7 V as the cell’s nominal voltage, while Volkswagen considers 3,666 V.

 

  • Volkswagen e-Golf: 264 x 37 Ah x 3,7 V = 36,14 kWh

Theoretically the NEDC electric range should be increased from 190 km to 281 km. But the e-Golf is getting a more powerful and probably more efficient motor. Volkswagen will push the NEDC range to 300 km.

 

  • Volkswagen e-up: 204 x 37 Ah x 3,7 V = 27,93 kWh

Theoretically the NEDC electric range should be increased from 160 km to 236 km.

 

  • Volkswagen Golf GTE: 96 x 37 Ah x 3,7 V = 13,14 kWh

Theoretically the NEDC electric range should be increased from 50 km to 74 km.

 

  • Volkswagen Passat GTE: 96 x 37 Ah x 3,7 V = 13,14 kWh

Theoretically the NEDC electric range should be increased from 50 km to 66 km.

 

  • Audi A3 e-tron: 96 x 37 Ah x 3,7 V = 13,14 kWh

Theoretically the NEDC electric range should be increased from 50 km to 74 km.

 

  • Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid: 104 x 37 Ah x 3,7 V = 14,24 kWh

Theoretically the NEDC electric range should be increased from 36 km to 47 km.

 

  • Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid: 104 x 37 Ah x 3,7 V = 14,24 kWh

Theoretically the NEDC electric range should be increased from 36 km to 54 km.

 

Some of these electric cars might get some tweaks to make them more efficient and with more electric range. More efficient motors, better aerodynamics and weight reduction help to push the already optimistic NEDC range figure a little bit. To get more realistic figures I usually multiply by 2 and divide by 3 the NEDC range. For example the Volkswagen e-up’s new possible 236 km NEDC range gets reduced to 157 km with my conversion to the “real world”.

 

Even with the new 37 Ah cells it’s clear that Volkswagen could do better if it was really committed to electric cars. Instead of a 36,14 kWh battery without active cooling, Kreisel Electric already put a 55,7 kWh actively cooled battery in the e-Golf.

 

Volkswagen e-Golf with a 55,7 kWh Kreisel battery and 106 kW fast charging capability. Good for 435 km NEDC range

 

What Volkswagen is now promising for 2025 in its never ending press releases, Kreisel Electric shows it today with current technology.

 

 

More info:

http://auto.oe24.at/news/Elektro-Golf-bekommt-mehr-Reichweite/250723238

http://www.volkswagenag.com/content/vwcorp/info_center/en/talks_and_presentations/2014/07/FM_04_07_14.bin.html/binarystorageitem/file/06_2014-07-04+Presentation+Barclays+London+Steiger+TOP+COPY.pdf

This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. Besides batteries with higher capacities VW should offer BEVs with AC chargers supporting higher loads. Current e-Golf only supports 16A @230V. Bare minimum should be 32A @230 V and ideal three phase 16A or even better 32A three phase.

  2. Most likely it will have the 7,2 kW charger that’s already available in the USA.

  3. A 7.2 kW is a bare minimum. At least they could offer 7.2kW mono and 11kW 3 phase as the i3 offers.

  4. How many amperes is the Kreisel batterry and are they in the placed on the boot to?

  5. VW Will upgrade the battery in january, but just announced a new e-up without any motor/battery upgrade?! It’s getting difficult to follow VW…

  6. You are rounding your calculations incorrectly.

    For example, 264 x 37 Ah x 3,7 V = 37 kWh. Not 36,14 kWh. The precision of the result depends on the precision of the inputs and here in Finland this is taught in the elementary school.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rounding

    1. Rounding to 37 kWh doesn’t make any sense since the real value of 36.141,6 Wh is a lot closer to 36 kWh than to 37 kWh. And to be more precise I could use the nominal voltage that Volkswagen states of 3,666 V, this would give me 35.809,488 Wh, even more distant to 37 kWh.

      1. You’re right, 35.8 kwh is exactly what VW announced for the next e-Golf update

  7. Are theire Any indication of new improved batteries in the gte cars 2017-2018?

    1. Hi Heonz.

      Not yet. As far as I know the only VW cars that already have the new 37 Ah battery cells from Samsung SDI are the Volkswagen e-Golf and the Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid.

      Probably they’re waiting for the new Samsung SDI battery plant in Hungary start operating to have enough supply for the GTE models.

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