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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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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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Lithium ion battery

A 5.3kWh lithium ion battery powers the EV up to its top speed of 81 mph.
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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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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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Drive selector

The power button doubles as the drive selector. Push to start, twist to D, and you're off.
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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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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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Light weight

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

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