Volkswagen Golfs Join German EV Test

German automaker Volkswagen will provide the German Ministry of the Environment with 20 of its plug-in hybrid Golf Variant twïnDRIVE vehicles for use in an ongoing “fleet study of electric mobility” that is set to run until the summer of 2012, the company said.

The goal of the testing program is to find ways to consistently charge electric vehicles of all types using renewable resources, such as wind power and solar power. As we’ve noted, green cars are only as green as the energy used to charge their batteries, and according to Volkswagen, there could be 1 million EVs on German roads by 2020. Powering all of those cars will become increasingly challenging as Germany moves to shutter all its nuclear power plants by 2022.

plug-in hybrid tests, Volkswagen Golf Variant

image via Volkswagen

The 20 Golfs that will be tested are be equipped with two different lithium-ion battery systems – 10 with an 11.2-kilowatt-hour (kWh) system, and 10 with a 13.2-kWh system – in order to test efficiency. Both versions of the car have an all-electric range of 35 miles and top speed of about 75 mph, but a gas motor boosts total range to 560 miles and top speed to 105 mph.

Volkswagen said it is preparing to launch some brand-new, 100 percent electric vehicles in 2013, as well as several plug-in hybrid models the same year, and again in 2014.

Aaron Colter is a freelance writer and marketing consultant in Portland, Oregon. A graduate of Purdue University, he has worked for the NCAA, Dark Horse Comics, Willamette Week, AOL, The Huffington Post, Top Shelf Productions, DigitalTrends, theMIX agency, SuicideGirls, EarthTechling, d'Errico Studios and others. He is also the co-founder of BananaStandMedia.com, a free record label, recording studio, and distribution service for independent musicians.