VW still believes in PHEV as a transition solution
During a presentation of its current plug-in hybrid models, Volkswagen gave an outlook on its upcoming PHEV strategy. A new generation of plug-in hybrid drives is expected to be used from 2023, proving that VW hasn’t written off the solution yet.
The plan is for the 1.4 TSI combustion engine used to be replaced by the 1.5 TSI. Secondly, and more importantly, the battery capacity and thus the electric range are to increase significantly, to around 100 kilometers or more.
In addition, Volkswagen’s PHEVs will have a fast-charging option with a CCS connection in the future, enabling significantly faster charging processes than with the existing single-phase onboard chargers with only 3,6 kW charging power.
Currently, Volkswagen’s MQB models have 1.4 TSI four-cylinder engines producing between 110 and 115 kW, combined with an electric motor producing up to 85 kW and a 13 kWh battery.
With the 1,5 liter from the newest (and last) ICE engine generation, VW will fit a battery of the same size with doubled energy content in the new PHEVs. This is made possible through a new packaging method and improvements at the cell level.
PHEV as a valuable temporary alternative
With these announcements, the Wolfsburg-based company is underlining its intention to continue relying on plug-in hybrids for longer than expected during the transition to a BEV future.
The extension of the electric range of PHEVs is also important concerning subsidy policies in different countries. In Germany, for example, stricter requirements for PHEVs are likely to be introduced if one wants to get the innovation premium in the future.
In these new subsidy guidelines, the CO2 emission limits for PHEVs could be replaced by specifications on the full-electric range. From 1 October 2022, only plug-in hybrids that offer a minimum electric range of 60 kilometers would be eligible for funding, and from 1 January 2024, the bar is to be raised to 80 kilometers.