The Volkswagen L1, a two-seater diesel-electric hybrid, may go into production in the next 2-3 years
In a move aimed at ‘sustainable mobility’ for the future, Volkswagen is working on various 'alternative' type vehicles, some of which would be electric scooters and mopeds. At this week’s Frankfurt Motor Show, VW unveiled the L1, a diesel-electric hybrid concept that weighs 380kg and which is capable of returning 189mpg, while emitting just 39g/km of CO2.
The Volkswagen L1 can seat two people in tandem and entrance is via a jet fighter-style side-hinging, electrically operated canopy. Made of carbonfibre composite, the VW L1 is light, narrow, aerodynamic and while it’s definitely not a motorcycle, it’s probably somewhere between a bike and a conventional car. The L1 is fitted with an 800cc twin-cylinder common-rail diesel engine that makes 28 horsepower and 99Nm of torque, which is enough to propel this vehicle from zero to 100km/h in 14.3 seconds and on to a top speed of 160km/h.
The L1 is also fitted with a 14 horsepower electric motor, which is automatically activated when additional acceleration is required, delivering 40% extra torque. The electric motor can also take over from the engine to power the L1 for short distances.
In addition to the L1 trike, Volkswagen is also working on various compact, battery-powered electric scooters that would be ideal for shorter journeys in the city. These include the Kickstep, an ultra-compact folding scooter, and the Microbully, a small scooter that can fit into the boot of a car. There is also the ped-tric, a folding bike with electric motors built into the wheel hubs, and the VW_1M, a large electric moped. These ‘micro-mobility’ solutions were created at Volkswagen’s Design Centre in Potsdam and according to a press release from VW, some of these may go into production by 2013.
In the meanwhile, Peugeot also has an interesting take on this urban mobility car-scooter hybrid thing. Take a look at the Peugeot BB1
Update: We earlier said that the L1 is a three-wheeler, which it actually isn't! We've now corrected the post and the person responsible for the mistake has been asked to reduce his consumption of alcohol. Thank you to everyone who wrote in to point out the error.