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Volkswagen Nils is a zero-emissions commuter vehicle for one (photos)

Volkswagen's latest concept is designed for city drivers who commute alone for short distances.

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Antuan Goodwin
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1 of 12 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Commute in solitude

Volkswagen's latest concept is designed for city drivers who commute alone for short distances.
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2 of 12 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Volkswagen Nils concept

Dubbed the Nils concept, this electric vehicle produces zero tailpipe emissions.
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3 of 12 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Electric motor

An electric motor positioned on the rear axle outputs a continuous 20 horsepower and 96 pound-feet of torque but can summon up to 33.5 horsepower for short boosts when necessary.
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4 of 12 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Lithium ion battery

A 5.3kWh lithium ion battery powers the EV up to its top speed of 81 mph.
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5 of 12 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Charging and range

The Nils is able to travel up to 40 miles between 2-hour charges, which should be enough to get many commuters to and from work daily.
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6 of 12 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Seating for 1

The Nils has space for just one under its gullwing door.
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Interior

There's not much space in the Nils' cabin, so VW has offloaded many of the infotainment functions to a docked smartphone.
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8 of 12 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Drive selector

The power button doubles as the drive selector. Push to start, twist to D, and you're off.
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9 of 12 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Instrument cluster

The instrumentation displays speed, battery charge state, and range data. FYI, "Fahrzeug wird geladen" translates to "The vehicle is loaded," which we assume means "The battery is full."
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10 of 12 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Driver's seat view

The smartphone mounted to the right of the instrument cluster is where controls for navigation, media playback, and hands-free calling can be found.
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11 of 12 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Tiny trunk

There's not much space in the Nils' boot, but you could probably fit a briefcase and a few bags of groceries.
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12 of 12 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Light weight

The Nils tips the scales at an Audi Urban Concept-rivaling 1,018 pounds.

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