Volkswagen Will Launch Carbon-Free, Single Passenger Car

Your electric car may be zero emissions, but what about the power source you used to juice-up the batteries? It’s one of the biggest debates surrounding EVs today.

In the next two weeks, Volkswagen is set to unveil a single-seater car that it hopes will be truly zero emissions. How so? According to a report by Reuters, VW will offer its new electric car with a “full-service package,” which gives customers the option to buy power from a fully-renewable source. The automaker may debut the proposed package in Brazil, where Reuters reports VW currently plans to build two hydropower plants.

“It’s a new kind of mobility, a new vehicle concept,” said Jurgen Leohold, head of VW Research. “If you limit a car to one person, you can make it smaller with less weight. You need less energy to transport the person, and then … it can be better on CO2 and fuel efficiency.”

We’re not sure how it will look, but it’s a safe bet that it will be similar to the VW L1 concept revealed a few years back. The L1 is a long, two-seat, tandem style hybrid vehicle powered by a 0.8L diesel engine (27-hp or 29-hp in Sport mode) and a 14-hp electric motor. The L1 is estimated to achieve 158 mpg and a 416-mile range from its 2.6 gallon tank. Heavy use of Carbon-Fiber Reinforced Plastic brings the L1’s curb weight to just 838 pounds, while its sleek aerodynamic design helps it achieve a drag coefficient of just 0.195 Cd. VW showed an updated take on the L1 early this year with the XL1 Concept, which was expected to achieve 261 mpg. When we drove the XL1, VW executives told us that they were committed to bringing the car to market for 2013. Expect to hear more when the automaker makes its formal announcement of the single-seater at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show.

Source: Reuters