Volkswagen Group of America will be providing a 2015 Volkswagen e-Golf to Stanford University for research dedicated to advancing e-mobility and improving the driver experience in electric vehicles.

VW said Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairperson of the Board of Directors, Volkswagen of America and a member of Stanford Engineering Advisory Board, presented the vehicle at Stanford on November 6. Persis S. Drell, the Frederick Emmons Terman Dean of the Stanford School of Engineering; Sven Beiker Ph.D., Executive Director, Center for Automotive Research (CARS); and Dr. Wendy Ju, Ph.D., Executive Director for Interaction Design Research, Center for Design Research (CDR), accepted the keys on behalf of the principal investigators, Stanford Engineering professors Fritz Prinz and Larry Leifer.

“Volkswagen’s longstanding relationship with Stanford has allowed us to push the boundaries of automotive research and innovation, and we look forward to extending our work together to drive advances in electric vehicles,” said Ewald Goessmann, Executive Director, Volkswagen Group of America Electronics Research Laboratory (ERL). “We are proud to provide the e-Golf to Stanford to help shape the future of e-mobility and further the educational experience of its engineering students and researchers.”

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The all-new e-Golf is Volkswagen’s first fully-electric vehicle and relies on a 24.2 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery.

Volkswagen added the e-Golf will initially be provided to the Volkswagen Automotive Innovation Laboratory (VAIL), located on the Stanford campus, to offer researchers the opportunity to evaluate the vehicle and inspire new research themes.

Beginning in 2015, the e-Golf will be used by Stanford for a one-year research project focused on advancing the driver experience and understanding of e-mobility to help drivers feel more confident and empowered driving an electric vehicle, explained the automaker. With the goal of helping drivers maximize EV benefits and reduce energy usage, researchers from Stanford will work with the ERL to study driver behavior and provide real-time feedback on behaviors that waste energy.

The company added in addition to the vehicle loan, Volkswagen Group of America (VWGoA) will join the Stanford University CDR Industry Affiliates Program. Membership further expands Volkswagen’s research collaboration with Stanford and provides dedicated students and academic resource support to help advance the electric vehicle study, as well as other engineering design research initiatives.

In 2009, VWGoA invested $5.75 million in the creation of the VAIL with Stanford, and then further expanded the research partnership in 2013 with an additional $1.7 million donation. VW explained since 2009, VAIL has conducted numerous breakthrough research projects in several areas including autonomous transportation, vehicle dynamics, safety, and environmental performance.

In addition to funding, VWGoA said it continues to provide resources, vehicles, technical expertise and access to the ERL for Stanford researchers actively collaborating on various automotive and technology projects.