Yes, it is bureaucratic confusion, ChasChas, largely because there is no single standard. And it gets worse. It's worth noting that my previous explanation was for the all-electric mode of the vehicle, which is simpler to calculate. When you get into plug-in hybrid calculations, there can be an infinite number of fuel efficiency ratings, depending on how you drive the car. A driver who drives 10 miles to work every day, ten miles back and then recharges at night, will have one number. A driver who exhausts the 32-mile range of the battery and drives the next 200 miles on diesel fuel will get another figure entirely.
In answer to your question, laser_scientist, the vehicle would not have to stop to recharge in the European Commission methodology. It would travel until it exhausts its battery charge (approximately 32 miles). Then it would travel the remainder of the 62-mile distance by burning the diesel fuel in the hybrid powertrain. Then they calculate its fuel efficiency.
Rob, I don't think the $130K figure is a viable one, but it comes from a New York Daily News article (link below). I've also seen where industry analysts have predicted the price will come in between $40K and $70K, which sounds like a better guess to me, albeit still a guess. Volkswagen has not announced a price.
Looks like a very nice concept car that could hit the road. One concern I have though: what will a polycarbonate windsheeld look like after a few years of dust/rain/snow and a few wiper sweeps ? Will it look like the polycarbonate headlights that have to be polished regularly if you don't want them to be foggy ? It will also be interesting to see how it performs at the IIHS impact test.
That said, VW makes great cars, and this one should be notting but great !
First, let me warn you, ChasChas, converting to MPG-e is not an exact science. But here's an off-the-cuff response to your question. The easiest method I know of is to divide kWh/gallon of gasoline by kWh/mile. The question becomes: What's a viable number for kWh per gallon of gasoline? Nissan and GM originally used the ready-made figure of 82 kWh/gal, which was absurdly high and accounted for the ridiculous figures that were orginally publicized for the Volt (230 mpg-e) and Leaf (367 mpg-e) in 2009. The EPA later came in and said, "No, it should be 33 kWh/gallon of gasoline," (see what I mean about it not being an exact science?). So let's use 33. And let's use the 6 miles/kWh mentioned for the new Volkswagen mentioned in the story. In that case, you'd divide 33 kWh/gallon by 0.167 kWh/mile (that's the inverse of the number I mentioned in the story), and you'd get 197 MPG-e.
This is a cool vehicle. It is really a focused high performance vehicle rather than a broadly practical car. It just happens that the high performance focus of this car is efficiency. No one needs a high performance vehicle-we get them because they give us pleasure and can provide status gratification if that is important. And we pay a premium for the pleasures.
I think this could work for VW, as long as they don't delude themselves that it is mainstream, and the profitable price does not exceed the value of the pleasure and status derived the buisness case could fly. And, as with any high performance vehilce, the lessons learned can be legitimized in the public mind and applied more broadly to other mainstream products.
One of my fears about very efficient vehicles is crash survival. Even with state of the art lightweight super strong non metallic materials, you have to be concerned about deceleration and acceleration upon impact and recoil. Smaller vehicles suffer from having smaller crumple zones, thus reducing the time available for velocity change. And they have lower mass, meaning for the same given force of impact the smaller vehicle will pick up a higher rebound acceleration rate. It'll be thrown farther with higher G forces.
So, even with better quality cabin restraints, when a much lighter passenger vehicle meets a much heavier one the passenger injury rate rises dramatically. Potential for G force damage to the passengers increases significantly even considering air bags and other flexible restraints. The rate of deployment of an airbag would have to be sped up and that alone will result in more injuries.
The solution of course is to sacrifice mileage economy somewhat by powering a larger electrical load and adding the weight of collision avoidance systems.
In a bid to boost the viability of lithium-based electric car batteries, a team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed a chemistry that could possibly double an EV’s driving range while cutting its battery cost in half.
Using Siemens NX software, a team of engineering students from the University of Michigan built an electric vehicle and raced in the 2013 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. One of those students blogged for Design News throughout the race.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.