The Volkswagen Touareg R Plug-In Hybrid SUV: The Complete Guide For India

vw touareg


Electric Cars: The Basics


For those of you new to zero-emission electric driving, we recommend a read of the following articles:

For those keen on an overview of the Indian electric vehicle (EV) market and the benefits of zero-emission electric driving, simply scroll down to the end of the article!


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The Volkswagen Touareg R PHEV SUV


Volkswagen AG, the Germany automotive group is one of the leading automotive companies in the global electric vehicle (EV) industry. Volkswagen has committed to an investment up to Euro 30 billion by 2023. It aims to sell 3 million electric vehicles by 2025 and launch up to 70 new EV models over the next 10 years. The VW EVs include:

The Volkswagen Touareg SUV (4X4) was introduced in 2002. The vehicle has been named after the nomadic people from northern Africa, the Tuareg people. The Touareg shares its platform with the Porsche Cayenne and the Audi Q7 SUVs. The Touareg R PHEV was revealed in early 2020. PHEVs are perfect for individuals and families:

  • Keen to take a step towards lower emission and environment-friendly driving
  • Need a vehicle for extensive and regular long-distance travelling
  • Have limited access to private or public EV charging stations
  • Do a number of short commutes (30 miles and below) on a regular basis
  • Keen to save money

The newest eco-friendly PHEVs on the market will average between 20 to 30 zero-emission electric miles on a fully-charged EV battery. In most plug-in electric cars the EV battery will be below 15 kWh in capacity.

The Volkswagen plug-in electric SUV has a 14.3 kWh EV battery with a WLTP zero-emission electric range of 28 miles. Depending on driving style, weather condition and the services used in the e-SUV, expect a real world range closer to 23 miles. However, that would be more than sufficient for most daily commutes using the EV battery i.e. driving emission-free and also saving money (the running cost per mile of an EV is far lower than a petrol or diesel car). Bottom-line driving on electric miles is both cost efficient and eco-friendly!

The ‘R’ styling is has an upgraded and distinctive exterior appearance, to include, newly designed bumpers, upgraded radiator grille, air intakes and an overall sportier look. The VW plug-in electric SUV is practical and family-friendly, with amply space for short and long commutes. The electric vehicle (EV) is cheap to run on the zero-emission electric mode.

Volkswagen Touareg R Plug-In India
The Volkswagen Touareg R PHEV SUV (credit: VW)

Driving an electric vehicle (EV) is cheaper than driving a petrol or diesel vehicle. As an example, in India, filling a full tank of fuel for the internal combustion engine (ICE) Tata Nexon SUV will cost up to Rs 5,000 (assuming an average cost per litre of Rs 100. The Tata Nexon has a fuel tank capacity of 44 L).

In comparison, the Tata Nexon Pure Electric SUV will cost less than Rs 300 for a full EV battery charge (EV Battery size: 30.2 kWh). In India, the average cost for residential electricity is between Rs 5 to Rs 10 per kWh(unit). Therefore the cost to drive per km (or mile) in a pure electric vehicle is substantially lower than a petrol or diesel vehicle.

At an average one can expect a cost per km of Rs 1 for a zero-emission EV, while for an equivalent petrol or diesel vehicle, the cost per km could be up to Rs 7 per km. The annual cost savings achieved by switching to electric driving is significant!


At A Glance
EV Type:Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
Vehicle Type:SUV
Engine:Petrol/Electric (3.0 TSI PHEV)
Available In India:No

Trim (1 Option)
Touareg R

PROSCONS
A practical and spacious family SUV that is environment-friendlyElectric range is limited
Cheap to run on zero-emission electric rangeNot a Porsche Cayenne (some interior materials feel cheap)
An enhanced exterior stylingA seven-seat option not available

EV Battery & Emissions
EV Battery Type:Lithium-ion
EV Battery Capacity:Available in one battery size (14.3 kWh)
Charging:DC rapid charging not available. On board charger 3.6 kW AC
Charge Port:Type 2
EV Cable Type:Type 2
Tailpipe Emissions:68g (CO2/km)
Battery Warranty:3 years or 60,000 miles

Charging Times (Overview)
Slow charging AC (3 kW – 3.6 kW):6 – 12 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SOC)
Fast charging AC (7 kW – 22 kW):3 – 8 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Rapid charging AC (43 kW):0-80%: 20 mins to 60 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Rapid charging DC (50 kW+):0-80%: 20 mins to 60 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Ultra rapid charging DC (150 kW+):0-80% : 20 mins to 40 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Tesla Supercharger (120 kW – 250 kW):0-80%: up to 25 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)

Dimensions
Height (mm):1686
Width (mm):1984
Length (mm):4878
Wheelbase (mm):2899

Touareg R 462PS 4MOTION
EV Battery Capacity:14.3 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):28 miles
Fuel Consumption (mpg):94.2 (combined)
EV Operation Efficiency (Wh/km):246.78
Charging:DC rapid charging not available. On board charger 3.6 kW AC
Top Speed:155 mph
0-62 mph:5.1 seconds
Drive:All-wheel drive (AWD)
Electric Motor (kW):N/A
Max Power (PS):462
Torque (Nm):450
Transmission:Automatic
Seats:5
Doors:5
Unladen Weight (kg):2,468
Colours:9

Volkswagen Touareg R Plug-In India
The Volkswagen Touareg R PHEV SUV (credit: VW)

Volkswagen Touareg R Plug-In India
The Volkswagen Touareg R PHEV SUV (credit: VW)

Volkswagen Touareg R Plug-In India
The Volkswagen Touareg R PHEV SUV (credit: VW)

India Electric Vehicle (EV) Market


India, like many other countries, is well positioned to benefit from the shift to zero-tailpipe emission electric driving. Road transportation is a major contributor to air pollution (over 30%), choking our towns, cities and villages across India. Diesel vehicles, in particular, diesel trucks and diesel buses, are significant sources for tailpipe emissions. But given the rise in the standard of living, since liberalisation, the demand for privately owned passenger cars has increased at an unprecedented pace, further worsening the air quality. India has more than 3 crores (30 million) cars releasing tailpipe emissions on its roads!

Though we have seen some improvements in air quality during the ongoing pandemic (as a result of lower vehicle traffic), India’s shift to electric driving will be key in achieving long-term higher air quality. Of course, apart from EVs, the continued development of green and renewable energy infrastructure will be key in achieving lower long-term air pollution. India has already demonstrated global leadership in regards to large-scale solar and wind projects! Hopefully, India will replicate the success with zero-emission electric vehicles.

Despite recent announcements and support from local and national government agencies in India, the EV market is still at a nascent stage, well, at least in terms of electric cars and electric vans. Two-wheel electric scooters and three-wheel electric rickshaws (e-rickshaws) have demonstrated a strong uptake, and India is poised to become a global leader in electric scooters and electric rickshaws (e-tuk). In fact, the ubiquitous e-rickshaw commands an impressive 83% of the Indian electric vehicle market. India currently has over 15 lakhs (1.5 million) e-rickshaws, with each EV playing a role in reducing tailpipe emissions on our roads in India.

Sales of passenger electric cars is still at an early stage. In FY2021, though the market witnessed a growth of nearly 110% from the previous year, the absolute volume of cars sold was only 5,905 electric cars. Currently there are less that 15 pure electric car models available on sale in India.

Tata Motors, the biggest automotive manufacturer in India has launched the Tata Nexon electric SUV. Mahindra Electric, another leading Indian automotive manufacturer, has also launched a number of plug-in electric vehicles (EVs), to include, the Mahindra eVerito electric car, Mahindra eSupro electric van and Mahindra e2o Plus compact electric car. International manufacturers, like UK based MG Motors, have also launched the MG ZS electric SUV in India. Also available are the all-electric Jaguar I-PACE SUV and the Hyundai Kona electric SUV.


Benefits Of Electric Driving


The benefits of electric driving are many, with significant advantageous over petrol and diesel internal combustion (ICE) engine cars, for all stakeholders. These benefits include:

  • Lower to zero-tailpipe emissions
  • Lower running costs
  • Lower taxes
  • Lower maintenance costs
  • Lower noise pollution
  • Convenience of charging at home
  • Smoother drive
  • Instant torque for acceleration
  • Lower environmental impact

Below we have highlighted three of our favourite benefits of owning and driving an electric car.


Improved Air Quality


Battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) or all-electric vehicles do not have tailpipe pollution. In fact, such electric cars do not even have a tailpipe! Zero-emission electric driving has a real and immediate impact on local air quality i.e. improving air quality. While, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) have reduced tailpipe pollution compared to traditional petrol and diesel vehicles. The sooner we migrate to electric driving in India, the sooner we can improve air quality for all our cities, towns and villages. Lower air pollution will also result in a reduced number of health issues arising from inhaling toxic pollutants.


Lower Maintenance & Running Costs


Electric vehicles (EVs) are cheaper to maintain and drive. Pure electric cars have far fewer moving parts compared to internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. The fewer the moving parts, the lower the probability of repair and maintenance. Moreover charging an electric car can cost as little Rs 50 per 100 kilometres! A full charge can cost between Rs 100 and Rs 200. Significantly cheaper than filling a tank of petrol or diesel!


Lower Noise Pollution


Yes, we in India are far more resilient to noise pollution than those living in the western world. We have certainly got used to horns blaring and engines roaring, day and night. But that does not mean we enjoy or welcome noise pollution. In fact, quite the opposite!

Though much focus has been on the advantageous of ‘air quality’ with an electric car, just as important, is the benefit of lower noise pollution. In fact, pure electric cars are silent, with an inbuilt ‘sound booster’ to increase road safety for pedestrians. As our cities in India and across the world become densely populated with cars, the significant negative impact on ‘quality of life’ as a result of increased noise pollution from petrol and diesel vehicles, is just as dangerous, as increased air pollution. Battery-electric cars are a perfect solution in reducing noise pollution and increasing the living standards for us all. Of course, one can only hope that the self inflicted ‘horn blaring’ pollution will also reduce!



Author

Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising the TVS Group, a multi-billion dollar industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised AMIH, a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He is also a member of the Forbury Investment Network advisory committee. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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