The VW Golf is the most-sold European car in history, and now there’s an electric version of it. The VW e-Golf, unveiled at the LA Auto Show in November, has just been made commercially available in Germany. The starting price is €34,900 (~$47,800). That comes with an 8-year / 160,000-kilometer (99,419-mile) battery warranty. That’s almost exactly the same price as the BMW i3.
Assuming Volkswagen is serious about selling this car, it could do well, but I’d be surprised to see its sales compare to sales of the BMW i3 or the much-lower-priced Nissan Leaf, Renault Zoe, or German-market-leading Smart Electric Drive. I’d assume the VW e-Up!, launched just at the end of 2013, will also do better. It has been doing quite well, is widely available (across Europe), and it comes in at a much lower price of €26,900. Mike Millikin of Green Car Congress has some info on how these two electric Volkswagens compare, and how they compare to the world-market-leading Nissan Leaf:
The e-Golf features low power consumption of 12.7 kWh/100 km (the frugal e-up! offers power consumption of 11.7 kWh/100 km). As a comparison, the Nissan LEAF consumes 15 kWh/100 km (in accordance with UN/ECE Regulation 101).
I still slightly prefer the Nissan Leaf over the VW e-Up!, but have yet to drive the VW e-Golf. Looking forward to that. Here are more details on the e-Golf for now:
The e-Golf’s electric motor delivers 85 kW / 115 PS and from a standing start develops maximum torque of 270 N·m (199 lb-ft). The high-performance 12,000-rpm motor and the single-speed EQ270 transmission form a compact unit: the EQ270 also incorporates an integrated differential and an electro-mechanical parking brake. The motor and transmission was developed in-house and is made at Volkswagen’s components plant in Kassel, Germany.
The e-Golf reaches a speed of 60 km/h within 4.2 seconds and 100 km/h after 10.4 seconds.
The Golf A7 was developed from the outset to be a battery electric vehicle. As the Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) architecture that underpins the new Golf A7 is so flexible, Volkswagen was able to integrate the lithium-ion battery in a space-saving frame in the vehicle floor, under the front and rear seats and in the center tunnel. Like the electric motor and the transmission, the battery was also developed in-house at Volkswagen and is made at the company’s facility in Braunschweig, Germany.
The liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery accounts for 701 pounds (318 kg) of the e-Golf model’s 3,090-pound (1,402 kg) curb weight. It comprises 264 individual prismatic cells, which are integrated into 27 modules (each with six or twelve cells). Collectively, the cells have a nominal rating of 323 volts, with an overall capacity of 24.2 kWh.
Depending on the nature of the route, driving style and load, the range is between 130 and 190 kilometers (81 and 188 miles). More specifically, Volkswagen says, under the NEDC cycle, the range is 190 km…; practical range according to Volkswagen is the 130-190 km spread; and in winter operation, the range is expected to be 80-120 km (50-75 miles).
[Note: there'a an error in the quotation above. As a commenter notes, "190 km range is about 118 miles, not 188 miles."]
Volkswagen seems to have gotten serious about electric vehicles after Martin Winterkorn took over as CEO in 2007. Nonetheless, it has taken the German auto giant a while to get into the game. Jumping into the market just within the past 6 months, it now has two high-volume cars available at competitive process and with unique features. Statements from some board members also makes it seem that the company is serious about an electric vehicle transition. Notably, in less than one month the company will be highlighting its new electric mobility options via public events that even include music concerts.
Under the slogan “electrified“, Volkswagen will be launching a series of e-mobility weeks in March on the site of Berlin’s former Tempelhof Airport. Volkswagen will offer a comprehensive overview of Volkswagen capabilities in the field of electrically powered motoring. From 14-16 March, members of the public can avail themselves of the numerous facilities on offer, such as test driving vehicles. The e-mobility weeks will be rounded off with public concerts in the evening.
Whether by force (European requirements) or choice, it’s nice to see Volkswagen finally jumping into this. Let us know if you happen to have had any experience with the VW e-Golf yet!