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This startup nearly tripled the VW E-Golf's battery capacity

Don't expect an upgrade like this to cost the same as the standard E-Golf, though.

Kreisel Electric

Volkswagen just announced a new E-Golf with a 50 percent improvement in all-electric range. But it doesn't hold a candle to Kreisel Electric's aftermarket upgrade, which more than triples the original E-Golf's range.

Kreisel Electric is a startup based in Austria. The company retrofits European electric vehicles with their own battery technology. This E-Golf started with the 2016 model's 24.2-kWh battery, producing about 83 miles of range. Now, it's packing a 55.7-kWh battery pack with a range north of 200 miles, which puts it more in line with the upcoming 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV.

It's hard to make a new battery sexy, since it's buried under all that sheet metal.

Kreisel Electric

Kreisel's advancements come from the technology that manages the battery pack -- its cells come from a supplier, like most automakers. Kreisel's proprietary work is in battery management and liquid cooling. The company claims its unique liquid is noncombustible and capable of acting as a fire retardant, if worse comes to worst. Temperature management can drastically increase a battery's life.

Even more impressive is Kreisel's claim that the 55.7-kWh battery pack weighs just 330 kg (727.5 pounds), which is the same as Volkswagen's production E-Golf battery. It can be "filled up" at chargers with up to 150 kW of power, which is about as high as chargers go currently.

Of course, innovations like this won't come cheap. While the E-Golf may have an MSRP of $28,995 before incentives, dropping in Kreisel's pack is likely to send that price much higher, which would price it out of competitiveness with the Bolt EV and the Tesla Model 3. The company doesn't yet have a timetable for bringing a pack like this to production, either.

That said, Kreisel's goal might not even be aftermarket retrofits. Electrek notes that Kreisel claims to be in talks with major automakers regarding its technology, and since the startup hopes to open a factory capable of producing 800 MWh of lithium-ion battery packs, it could make the leap from aftermarket to supplier. That's where the money is, anyhow.

(Hat tip to Electrek!)