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Electric cars in SA

The debate on whether or not Electric Vehicles (EV) are viable in South Africa rages on.

VW adds Lite to Up! mix

2009-12-03 14:00
Volkswagen adds to its Up! city car concept range with yet another version - this time the diesel-electric Up! Lite shown at the Los Angeles Motor Show.

Building on the L1 Concept shown at the recent Frankfurt Motor Show, the Up! Lite is a four-seater using a diesel-electric hybrid drivetrain.

Its 38-kW 800 cm3 two-cylinder common rail diesel engine is combined with a 10-kW electric motor that can be disengaged from the diesel powerplant for low speed manoeuvres.

The concept uses a seven-speed twin-clutch DSG, while efficiency is increased with the use of a stop-start system and regenerative braking.

Up! Lite can travel up to 186 km on a gallon (about 3.8 litres) of fuel and emits about 65 g/km of CO2, VW says.

Furthermore, this concept is not only a lightweight (aluminium and carbon fibre help to attain a kerb weight of just 695 kg), but it is an exercise in aerodynamic efficiency, too. It has a drag coefficient of just 0.24 Cd, tiny cameras in place of wing mirrors and a grille that shuts completely when not in use.

The cabin is also kept simple with "bright, clean surfaces" for an uncluttered appearance.

Volkswagen says its Up! Lite is a "step towards a viable production car" and several elements are likely to be incorporated from 2011 in the manufacturer's new range of small cars.

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