VW Will Have Plug-in Hybrid by 2011

Volkswagen has announced that a plug-in hybrid version of the Rabbit will be available for 2011. The hybrid system, called Twin Drive, is currently being tested in Berlin.  VW says the Twin Drive Rabbit will be able to travel 30 miles on electric power only.   

The hybrid system will be linked to the in-car navigation system and will change its power usage to use the least amount of gas possible.  The car will shut off its gas engine and use up its remaining battery power near the end of a trip when it knows it can be plugged in soon.  

Unlike the Chevy Volt’s system, in which the gasoline engine is only used to recharge the electric motor, the Rabbit’s engine will be able to power the wheels directly. According to Motor Trend, the Rabbit will be electric only at low speeds, then at 30 mph the gas engine will kick in and the electric motor will turn off, but will be available for a boost of speed when needed.

Image via Motor Trend.