Why Electrify France & The Passat PHEV Are Vital Information From Volkswagen

We are likely to get mesmerized by the newest information about electrical supercars from Ferrari, Rimac, or Alfa Romeo, however within the bigger scheme of issues, these vehicles do little to maneuver the EV revolution ahead by any vital quantity. The newest information from Volkswagen is far much less attractive, however arguably extra necessary to the electrical automobile transition.

Electrify France Brings Quick Charging To French Drivers

Courtesy of Volkswagen

Taking a web page from its Electrify America quick charging community within the US — which was launched partly as penance for its diesel emissions dishonest scandal — Volkswagen Group is making a community of 150 DC quick charging stations all through France. Every charging level will be capable to service two electrical automobiles.

Usually, quick chargers are deployed alongside main freeway routes. Volkswagen Group is likely one of the founding members of Ionity, a consortium of main European automakers who need to make excessive energy chargers obtainable to their electrical automobile prospects. The distinction right here is that Electrify France shall be positioned at services belonging to varied members of the Group — Volkswagen, Volkswagen Business Autos, Audi, SEAT, CUPRA and Škoda — which can be positioned away from highways and concrete facilities.

In a press launch, Volkswagen Group France says it’s important to supply drivers of electrical automobiles the usage of quick charging stations every day as a result of in France 50% of drivers would not have entry to charging tools the place they stay. The Electrify France places shall be obtainable to the general public 24 hours a day so all EV drivers will be capable to add as much as 200 km of driving vary in 20 minutes or much less every time they should.

Xavier Chardon, chairman of Volkswagen Group France, says, “The initiatives that VGF deploys when it comes to electromobility are robust and permit all house owners of electrical automobiles to recharge in a couple of minutes all through France. This can be a main dedication from a really dedicated producer!”

Luc Chausson, who’s in control of the Electrify France undertaking provides, “The set up of quick chargers in our community is a powerful signal that our distributors are dedicated to reworking their enterprise mannequin, with the will to fulfill our prospects by putting in prime quality charging stations, open to all.”

Every charging location shall be outfitted with a minimum of one 150 kW charger. The biggest installations could have as much as 12 quick charging factors. Electrify France is meant to supply higher protection, significantly in areas with few motorways which can be outdoors city areas. Ultimately, it’s anticipated to increase to 700 websites throughout France.

Along with the brand new quick charging places, VGF can also be investing in solar energy services so as to add emissions-free electrical energy to the French electrical grid, a few of which shall be used to energy the brand new Electrify France charging stations. On June 29, 2023, the Villers-Cotterêts photo voltaic facility was commissioned. At 15 hectares (37 acres), it’s the fifth largest non-public photo voltaic park in France and is able to producing 20 MW of peak energy.

New Volkswagen Passat Variant PHEV

Courtesy of Volkswagen

This week, Volkswagen made one other announcement that’s vital to EV advocates. It launched the newest model of the Passat, which any further shall be provided solely in Variant kind, recognized to Individuals as a station wagon. That is the ninth model of the Passat, which is constructed on the corporate’s MQB evo platform.

The brand new Passat will include a selection of turbocharged gasoline and diesel engines. It additionally shall be provided with a 110 kW (147 hp) 48 volt delicate hybrid choice. However that’s not the massive information. There shall be two plug-in hybrid fashions, one that includes 150 kW (201 hp) of energy and the opposite providing 200 kW (268 hp) whole output. Versus the prior PHEV Passat, the brand new plug-in hybrid vehicles are outfitted with a 19.6 kWh (web) battery that may energy them in battery-only mode for as much as 100 km (assuming the driving force remembers to plug them in).

Courtesy of Volkswagen

In a press launch, the corporate says, “This distance turns the brand new Passat Variant into an electrical car for on a regular basis life. That is moreover ensured by brief charging occasions because the battery can now be charged at AC cost factors with 11 kW as a substitute of the earlier 3.6 kW. The Passat Variant eHybrid may even be charged with as much as 50 kW at DC quick charging stations. As well as, the mixture of electrical drive motor and new economical turbocharged petrol engine (1.5 TSI evo2) supplies general ranges of round 1,000 km.”

Courtesy of Volkswagen

Bear in mind the enduring Volkswagen industrial in regards to the two dudes who take a Passat TDI sedan on a street journey and educate themselves methods to converse fluent Spanish by the point they should cease to refuel? It’s time for a remake.

Volkswagen is positioning the brand new Passat Variant PHEV as one thing of a grand touring machine. “The quiet and spacious Passat Variant provides a excessive degree of journey consolation and shall be optionally obtainable with new adaptive chassis management  referred to as DCC Professional and new ergoActive seats that provide a pneumatic stress level therapeutic massage function.” The automobile additionally has a completely digital dashboard with related know-how. An obtainable assisted-driving mode takes the stress out of long-distance journey.

The place Is The Battery-Electrical Volkswagen Variant?

Why go to all this bother to supply a plug-in hybrid? Why not simply provide individuals a battery-powered wagon? Truly, Volkswagen intends to just do that when it introduces the ID.7 Tourer in a couple of years. The ID.7 sedan and the Tourer shall be manufactured on the Emden manufacturing unit, which is the place the Passat was made beforehand. The Passat sedan is being discontinued and manufacturing of the Variant will transfer to a manufacturing unit in Bratislavia.

“The newest evolutionary stage of the modular MQB evo types the extremely progressive technical foundation of the ninth Passat era,” says Kai Grünitz, VW Model board member for technical improvement. “Because of the numerous economies of scale of the MQB evo, Volkswagen has once more democratized quite a few high-tech developments and made them obtainable for lots of of hundreds of drivers.”

The brand new Passat Variant is anticipated in showrooms in early 2024. No costs have been introduced as of but.

The Takeaway

Why are we waxing eloquent a few plug-in hybrid? As a result of it might simply be the bridge that’s wanted between standard combustion engine automobiles and totally electrical fashions. CleanTechnica readers are all in on EVs, naturally, however there are nonetheless loads of people on the market on this planet who should not but able to decide to driving a automobile powered completely by batteries.

Allow them to get a style of vehicles like this, vehicles that may run silently for as much as 60 miles, vehicles that replenish their batteries with regenerative braking, vehicles that infrequently cease at a gasoline pump, don’t want frequent oil modifications, and might make a set of brake pads final 50,000 miles or extra.

Allow them to expertise the pure pleasure of driving on electrons with out worrying about the place the following charging station could also be. Chances are high 98 out of 100 drivers who get to expertise all that can make a battery electrical automobile their subsequent car subsequent time round. That’s factor.

Personally, I like station wagons. All the time have. If somebody informed me I used to be condemned to drive a ninth era Passat Variant PHEV for the remainder of my life, I might suppose I received the lottery. It appears to be like good in an understated method with fastidiously massaged styling that speaks of refinement, energy, and beauty. I hope Volkswagen sells boatloads of them.


I do not like paywalls. You do not like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Right here at CleanTechnica, we carried out a restricted paywall for some time, nevertheless it all the time felt improper — and it was all the time powerful to resolve what we must always put behind there. In concept, your most unique and finest content material goes behind a paywall. However then fewer individuals learn it! We simply do not like paywalls, and so we have determined to ditch ours.

Sadly, the media enterprise remains to be a troublesome, cut-throat enterprise with tiny margins. It is a endless Olympic problem to remain above water and even maybe — gasp — develop. So …