VW on the charge
Volkswagen will unveil two electric vehicles at next week's 65th International Motor Show in Frankfurt, which will feature ground-breaking technology.
The global premieres of the e-Golf and e-up! will probably steal the show as they have much to offer.
One of the drawbacks of electric vehicles (EVs) has been the charging time it takes to replenish a flat battery pack, with most vehicles taking between five and seven hours.
Not so with the zero emissions e-Golf and e-up! Volkswagen say they will take only 30 minutes to recharge the battery packs on the two vehicles up to 80% capacity when coupled to the direct current CCS charging stations.
Long charging times have until now, been a major drawback of electric vehicles. Now, in the time it takes to make a cup of coffee and have a smoke, the EVs should be ready to get back on the road again - a big plus for Volkswagen.
The Volkswagen EVs feature LED headlights as standard.
The e-up! can travel a distance of 160km on one battery charge (18.7kWh), while the e-Golf, with its larger battery (24.2 kWh), has a range of 190km.
In Germany, studies by the federal ministry for transport, building & urban development found that around 80% of all drivers drive fewer than 50km daily.
So what's under the bonnet and floor of the ground-breaking EVs?
The e-Golf is powered by a 85kW motor, which produces its maximum drive torque of 270Nm as soon as it starts.
This results in the front-wheel drive e-Golf reaching 100km/h in 10.4sec - not an earth-shattering time, but certainly acceptable.
On a motorway, the speed of the five-seat front-wheel drive car is electronically limited to 140km/h.
The four-seater e-up! is powered by a motor which produces 60kW.
It transmits 210Nm of torque to the front axle from a standstill and completes the sprint to 100km/h in 12.4sec.
Top speed is 130km/h.
The battery packs for both models are positioned under the floors of the vehicles.
One of the challenges faced by engineers has been the inclusion in the EVs, of energy-draining equipment which quickly saps power when in use.
However, in a move which will be of interest to competitors, the VW EVs will be equipped with automatic climate control, parking heater and ventilation, radio-navigation, windscreen heating, LED daytime running lights and, in the e-Golf, the Volkswagen brand's first use of LED headlights.
The e-motors, gearboxes and lithium-ion batteries of the e-up! and e-Golf are developed in-house and manufactured in Germany.
The zero-emission cars are manufactured with the same production systems as their counterparts with combustion engines.
VW is still undecided about whether to launch the new e-Golf in South Africa.