VW and GM in Full Gear for Electric Cars in Qatar

VW’s XL1 looks great and saves fuel.  But is it affordable?

Although the much written about Better Place electric car concept is a favorite on Green Prophet; and is even  criticized as being an electric car monopoly in its origin country Israel,  the cars themselves have yet to hit the streets on a commercial basis. At present, they are still considered as being in the testing stage.  In other parts of the world electric concept cars, especially dual engine hybrid models, are now on display at various motor shows, including a recent motor show  in Qatar.

Better Place cars still awaiting debut

The Qatar Motor show, which ran from 26-29 January, included a new Volkswagen concept car, the XL1, which claims to get 100 km on less than a liter of diesel fuel (313 mpg) definitely turned some heads, especially due to its sleek, futuristic lines.

The XL1, which contains a ultra fuel efficient diesel engine as well as an electric motor powered by lithium ion batteries, enables the car to reach a top speed of 160 km/h in its “sport mode”, and also has an energy saving “eco mode” which involves the use of its auxiliary electric motor.

The car is exceptionally light; its body being made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic materials, and only weighs 380 kg fully fueled. The car’s power train includes a 7 speed “DSG” transmission, also designed to provide maximum fuel economy. Since the car only made its official debut in Qatar, its manufactured suggested retail price has not been set yet.

Judging from the car’s appearance, it won’t be an everyman’s car as VW plans to produce it “on a very small scale”.

Chevy Volts on their way to purchasers

That’s not so for the General Motors Chevrolet Volt, as these cars are already rolling toward dealerships in various parts of the USA.

The Volt, also a dual engine hybrid, started reaching dealerships on a limited bases last year, and are now being delivered to customers in Washington D.C., California, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and Texas.

GM says that the Volt will be available in all 50 states by the fourth quarter of this year.

Mind you, both of these cars are not total electric vehicles, like the Renault-Nissan Leaf , which is still waiting to be marketed in the Middle East.

The Volt itself will not be seen for the time being in Israel, due to government regulations requiring electric cars to only be available via an approved infrastructure that will not allow recharging them via a home electrical outlet. But elsewhere, especially in North America, Volts will definitely be on the roads a lot sooner than other models. And this is what GM is “banking” on, with its investment in this car.


Read more on Chevy Volts and other electric cars:

GM’s Volt Vs the Renault-Nissan Better Place Edition

Chevy Volt Hybrids Made from BO Oil Spill Booms

Maurice Test Drives the Better Place Electric Car

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