Norway is the country with the highest number of electric cars per capita in the world. The capital city of Oslo is the ideal starting point for a trip with the new e-Golf, which has over 50 percent more range than its predecessor.
The temperature outside is zero degrees. It is still rather dark; in early December, the sun does not rise in Oslo until just before 9 o'clock. Nevertheless, Dr. Florian Hofemeier is wide awake and in good spirits early in the morning. The young engineer, who is responsible for the energy management systems of Volkswagen electric vehicles, takes his place behind the wheel of a new e-Golf. The car welcomes driver and passenger into its warm and cozy interior. "I've already heated up the cabin", Hofemeier explains. He programmed the electric auxiliary heater the night before using an app. "By the way, this is one of the most important features of our e-Golf for my wife", Hofemeier says. But it is not only for her sake that he makes sure the car is comfortable. It is his job to see that Volkswagen electric cars use precious battery power extremely frugally. Heat management plays a key role. Normally, the range of an electric vehicle is significantly reduced in winter because power is also needed for heating the interior. The e-Golf, on the other hand, uses an efficient heat pump – a miniature version of the technology that already heats many homes. The sophisticated unit even harnesses the waste heat generated by the electric drive system when the vehicle is in motion. "Depending on the outdoor temperature, we can produce up to three kilowatt-hours of heat from one kilowatt-hour of electricity", Hofemeier is proud to report.