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Masters of perfection

Find out how Volkswagen e-cars work. A mix of captivating technology and maximum reliability. Extensive know-how and longstanding experience mean Volkswagen is shaping the future of mobility decisively, enabling the development of cars and batteries of the next generation – and the generation after that.

Recharge not refuel.2

It's as easy to recharge an electric car as it is to pump petrol or diesel at a filling station. There are several options and each has its own advantages. More

Electric car models XL1 and e-up!, white, driving Electric car models XL1 and e-up!, white, driving

What is e-mobility all about?
Everything you need to know1, 2

This is how far you get – 

Volkswagen’s electric cars have a range of up to 190 kilometres (e-Golf). In most cases, that suffices.

Around 80 percent of drivers in Germany, from commuters to frequent drivers, travel less than 50 kilometres a day.*

Ranges drop in winter when the heating is running, but the battery is charged while the vehicle is moving without power, such as while braking and coasting. Cars with electric motors are the only vehicles that can capture energy while driving.

*) Source: “Mobility in Germany”, German Transportation Ministry 2002 and 2008.


Powering up – 

Simply plug in when you come home in the evening and drive off fully recharged in the morning. The power point and electrical installation have to be in good working order and checked by a professional electrician. It’s faster with a wall box, which can be ordered through a Volkswagen dealer. Or you can fill up at a public DC quick-charge station.

Depending on where you fill up, charging time takes between less than 30 minutes and up to 12 hours.

– Household power point: 10 to 12 hours
– Wallbox: 6 to 8 hours
– CCS charging station : up to 30 minutes

You always have the right cable on hand with the socket-outlet charging cable for normal sockets. For fast charging, there is a combo connector attached to the DC quick-charge station. The Combined Charging System (CCS) is the internationally recognised standard.

Learn more


Two ways you save – 

Our electric cars are easy on the environment and on your wallet. Electric vehicles produce zero emissions while driving (Tank-to-Wheel). When powered exclusively by energy from renewable sources, the electric car’s total assessment (Well-to-Wheel) also remains virtually emission free.

Emissions during the drive itself. Every electrically powered car runs emission-free.

The total emissions assessment: from energy extraction to consumption while driving. A vehicle operated by electricity harnessed from wind power emits just 1 gram of CO2 per kilometre, in total.

Operating costs are also significantly lower. An electric car already costs much less to run per 100 kilometres than a conventional car. In the case of the e-up! just 2.69 euros (at a kilowatt hour price of 23 cents). That makes the e-up! with a consumption of 11.7 kilowatt the most efficient vehicle in its class.

Maintenance costs are also lower. Electric cars require neither an oil change nor spark plugs.


Made in Germany.
Electric motors from Volkswagen.

Volkswagen engineers developed the powerful electric motors for the e-up!2 and the e-Golf3 from scratch. Now they’re coming off the production line in the Volkswagen factory in Kassel. Here’s a video report.

Regenerative breaking: An energy source in Hybrid and Electric cars.

Volkswagen's electric and hybrid cars all generate their own electricity. Every time the driver brakes, energy is recovered and fed back into the battery. The technology that makes our vehicles so economical is called recuperation. Let our animated video show you exactly how it works.

How safe, how quiet, how reliable?
The nine most-asked questions about e-autos.

Pictogram, jerrycans, battery, grey

1. Will electric cars finally succeed?



Modern batteries are powerful and steadily improving through further innovation. Petroleum on the other hand, is running low. In the long term, dwindling supplies will push up gas prices. Operating costs for an electric car are already lower today than they are for vehicles with an internal combustion engine. So electric cars are not just environmentally friendly, they are sustainable in every respect.


Next question
Pictogram, windmill, grey

2. How environmentally friendly is

my electric car?


That depends on the energy mix used to power it. The greater the share of green energy, the more environmentally friendly the electric car. It is totally emission-free if it runs entirely on renewable energy. On request, Volkswagen provides customers with green energy from German eco-utility LichtBlick. VW itself invests in the development of wind, water and solar power.

Next question
Pictogram, battery, time, grey

3. What about battery life?


No worries: Your electric car won’t devalue as fast as your average mobile phone. Volkswagen relies on the tried and tested lithium ion battery pack. But high-quality components guarantee that these batteries remain fully functional throughout the car’s life. That’s why Volkswagen offers an eight-year warranty on its high-volt batteries.

Next question
pictogram, different sizes of batteries, grey

4. Battery technology will continue advancing. Wouldn’t it be wiser to wait for new developments?


Volkswagen is now serialising production of electric cars because the power and cost of batteries have reached a level that makes electric cars suitable for daily use.

Next question
pictogram, security of electromobility, grey

5. How safe is my electric car?


They are as dependable and safe as every other Volkswagen, and equipped with the most technologically advanced safety systems. If you should nevertheless experience a breakdown, simply call the VW hotline. Specialists will take care of any problem.

Next question
pictogram, wrench, grey

6. Where can I have my electric car serviced?


General repairs, service and diagnosis are offered by your local Volkswagen dealer. Only in cases where the high-voltage system is affected is the car transferred to a specialised dealer.  

Next question
pictogram, speakers, no sound,  grey

7. Electric cars are quiet. Don’t they pose a traffic hazard if they can’t

be heard on the road?


Just like a cyclist, at low speeds the driver of an electric car needs to be extra careful, because the noise of the engine is very low. At higher speeds the sound of the tires is clearly audible – even in city traffic. It's still a great advantage and reduces noise pollution, especially in cities.

Next question
pictogram, pump, grey

8. Are there enough public

recharging stations?


The network is growing from month to month. And it will continue to grow, just as the number of electric cars on the road is growing. It’s a development comparable to the swift expansion of the petrol station network in the 20th century. Besides, many drivers will be converting electric sockets at home into their own private petrol stations. How many diesel drivers can say the same?   

Next question
pictogram, cars, fleet, grey

9. Are electric cars really up to the same standard as conventional Volkswagen?


The owner of an electric car is not making a compromise. Volkswagen’s electric cars are safe, suitable for everyday use, and affordable. And they are fun to drive.

Next question

Making the running: the e-Golf at the Silvretta e-Rally3

Once a year the Austrian region of Montafon holds a rally for the latest innovations in e-mobility. It’s not about speed, but about reliability and efficiency above all. And right at the top of the rankings come the electric models from Volkswagen.

How much “e” for you?
There is an option for every lifestyle.

pictogram, jerry can, blue

Micro Hybrid
Saves whenever it can

A micro hybrid is not, strictly speaking, an electric vehicle. But it is much more economical than a normal car, thanks to special technologies. A generator captures energy normally lost in braking or coasting and converts it into electrical energy (recuperation), relieving the alternator.

Total range
up to 1,000 kilometres 
Electric range
0 kilometres 
pictogram, jerry can, battery

Full Hybrid
Two motors, one driving experience

A small electric engine supports the combustion engine in urban traffic, or when accelerating. The battery is charged when going downhill, or when braking (recuperation). Both engines work at the same time when top performance is required. An on-board computer controls the process automatically.

Total range
up to 1,000 kilometres 
Electric range
2–3 kilometres 
pictogram, jerrycan, battery, plug, blue

Plug-in Hybrid
The best of both worlds

An electric and an internal combustion engine work in tandem, the same as in a full hybrid. But the battery of a plug-in hybrid is charged by cable from a power point, as well as when driving. Plug-in hybrids can travel about 50 kilometres on electric power alone... the combustion motor kicks in on longer distances. It's an ideal vehicle for people who drive around town but also go on longer trips.

Total range
up to 1,000 kilometres 
Electric range
about 50 kilometres 
pictogram, battery, plug

Battery Electric Vehicle
Pure electricity

A quiet vehicle that uses no fossil fuels but can be recharged on any properly functioning and correctly installed electrical outlet. And there are plenty more outlets than gas stations! A battery electric vehicle requires a lot less maintenance than a normal automobile, too. Finally, its higher level of torque means it accelerates faster, providing a very dynamic drive.

Total range
about 160 kilometres 
Electric range
about 160 kilometres 
Xl1, white, still, mountains, road

Aerodynamic and economic: No mass-produced vehicle in the world can beat its drag coefficient of 0.189. In optimal driving conditions, it’s the world champion for fuel savings, consuming just 0.9 litres over 100 kilometres. This fuel efficiency is all down to recuperation: as the car comes down the mountain, its battery recharges.

Xl1, white, driving, mountains, road

A striking sight in the alpine scenery, it impresses with its driving performance: The innovative vehicle has a body made from carbon fibre-reinforced plastic.

Xl1, white, still, mountains, road, doors, open

Eye-catching features: the gullwing doors let you take a peek at the trusty start button, the Kessy recess for the keyless start system, DSG knob for the 7-speed double-clutch transmission. The recessed passenger seat creates an unexpected touch of comfort in a compact, sporty car.

Xl1, white, still, road, doors, open, top-view

Exceptional from every angle: from the front the XL1 is unmistakably a Volkswagen; from the rear it’s striking, thanks to the distinctive LED strip. From above it looks like a futuristic sports car. You can be proud of a partner like this.

Take the high road.1

Is it possible to conquer Austria’s highest mountain, the Grossglockner, in Volkswagen’s lowest powered car? And can it actually be fun to do so in the most fuel-savvy mass-produced vehicle? Can you climb 1,747 m and negotiate 21 switchbacks without power steering? We decided to find out. Read the full report in Das Auto magazine. More

Golf Variant Hy Motion

A clean deal

Powered by environmentally-friendly oxygen and hydrogen, the HyMotion makes the Golf the first Volkswagen to be outfitted with every type of motor now built. More

The Golf GTE4 of the future

 A sporty carbon chassis, a newly designed passenger cabin, a 295 kW (400 horsepower) plug-in hybrid engine and four-wheel drive; this Volkswagen study for the Golf GTE Sport shows what happens when you propel the GTE idea into the future. 

Myth vs fact
Test your e-knowledge!2

e-Up!, white, pictogram, cloud, rain, blue

Never charge in the rain. Electricity and water don’t mix.

True or false?

False. You can recharge the vehicle whenever you want, in any kind of weather. The battery and all electronic components are protected. The seal on the charging plug is so tight that no water can penetrate it.

e-Up!, white, pictogram, cellphone, no connection, blue

There is no problem using a smartphone in an electric vehicle, as there is on an aircraft, right?

True or false?

True. Personal digital devices are no problem in electric cars. The vehicle’s electronic systems operate independently of the passenger cabin.

e-Up!, white, pictogram, steering wheel, blue

A ride in an electric vehicle is sensible, but not as much fun as in a regular car.

True or false?

False. Riding in an electric car is a blast. Unlike an internal combustion engine, an electric motor makes all its torque available from the minute you switch it on. And because they hardly make noise, you often feel like you are actually floating.

e-Up!, white, pictogram, stop sign, blue

The braking torque of an electric motor is what makes it stop. Still, they need regular brakes.

True or false?

True. Recuperation, the process through which the vehicle captures energy while on the road, also enables the car to brake. Also, normal brakes provide added security in dangerous situations.  

e-Up!, white, pictogram, battery, blue

A mobile phone can lose value because the battery ages rapidly. But owners of electric cars don’t have to worry about this.

True or false?

True. Electric vehicles use lithium-ion batteries, which have proved themselves in millions of applications. The technology is so far advanced that Volkswagen can, with good conscious, give an eight-year warranty on batteries. The battery can be charged thousands and thousands of times in this period.

e-Up!, white, pictogram, thunderbolt, blue

When an electric car crashes, the passengers can suffer electric shocks.

True or false?

False. A number of security systems shut off the electricity the minute a car might get out of control. Each battery cell has a voltage of only 4 volts, so they are not dangerous anyway.

e-Up!, white, pictogram, moon, clouds, zzzl, blue

Electric vehicles need lots more electricity than a mobile telephone. So they have to be charged overnight.

True or false?

False. Public DC charging stations can charge a vehicle to 80% of capacity in as little as a half hour. That's usually not necessary though, because in daily use, the battery charge rarely falls below 30 percent.

e-Up!, white, pictogram,wingspan, blue

Electric cars are not advisable for commuters, because of their restricted range.

True or false?

False. Electric vehicles have a range of 160 kilometres and more. Studies show that 80 percent of all drivers, commuters and frequent drivers, don’t drive more than 50 kilometres per day.

e-Up!, white, pictogram, sun, windmill, blue

It doesn’t make any difference how many people switch to an electric car. There will always be enough electricity from sustainable sources.

True or false?

True. A single two-megawatt wind turbine can provide about 2,000 electric vehicles with enough power for each to drive 10,000 kilometres per year. 

XL1 model, silver, driving, city


Dynamic as a sports car, but as economical as an electric vehicle. The XL1 is a joy to drive, and sustainable at the same time.

man, battery, working
Behind the scenes

The battery

Batteries are the powerhouse of every e-car. But how do they work, what are they made of, and what’s the current status of the technology?

inside an electric vehicle

The visible car

It’s hard to tell the difference between a regular car and an electric vehicle from the outside. So let’s take a look under the hood.