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Alternative Fuels & Power Systems

Developing new sources of power for automobiles and other vehicles requires a multi-pronged approach. First, we must develop alternatives to petroleum-based fuels that still work with the traditional combustion engine. Next, and coming quickly, is the realization of the potential of electric vehicles. And finally, there are new power sources to investigate.

SunFuel® diesel

Alternative fuels are quite the buzzword these days. But how do you make those fuels practical, when the world already has a vast number of existing vehicles and filling stations, all designed around traditional petroleum-based fuels?

Working in partnership with a German University, Volkswagen Research pioneered a truly brilliant answer. Our breakthrough SunFuel® diesel is produced from biomass — plant matter, agricultural waste and food-processing byproducts. Almost CO2-neutral, SunFuel® can be used to power all engines in the Volkswagen Group’s current model range. When used as a fuel in conventional diesel engines, the high-quality SunFuel reduces particulate emissions and nitrogen oxides by nearly 30% – even in older vehicles.


The Volkswagen Group believes the all-electric vehicle is the next logical step in intelligent powertrain design on the road to zero-emissions mobility. At the Electronics Research Laboratory, the latest eMobliity innovations are coming to life.

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology

Volkswagen Group of America is solidly committed to developing hydrogen fuel cell technology, most recently showcased in our Tiguan HyMotion concept car. It’s virtually silent and produces only clear water vapor as a byproduct. We put the Tiguan HyMotion to the test on American roads in our 31-city Hydrogen Road Tour back in 2008, and it could well be the forerunner for a future of sustainable mobility.