Today at the Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany, Volkswagen is officially entering the electric car market, with the 2015 e-Golf. An emission free electric-vehicle (EV), the new e-Golf will go on sale in North America in late 2014 or early 2015.
Since the e-Golf is based on a well proven and popular car, it's expected to offer trademark German car handling and upscale feel to go along with its new found efficiency. Volkswagen says the new e-Golf will have a driving range of 118 miles.
Mechanically, the e-Golf gets a Volkswagen engineered and built drive system which starts with a 115 horsepower electric motor. With a robust 199 ft-lb of torque, it puts power to the front wheels through a new one-speed gearbox.
Volkswagen says it will offer spirited performance, and because it’s electric will offer smooth linear power throughout its operating range. It can accelerate from 0-62 mph in 10.4 seconds according to the company and has a governor limited top speed of about 87 mph.
There are the obligatory driving modes which allow you to select maximum range driving program or dial it up for more power and sporing attitude. The system uses regenerative braking as well to capture power back to the batter on deceleration.
A light-weight lithium-ion battery unit resides under the floor shaped to utilize the center tunnel and under seat areas. This design allows for more cells and less intrusion into the rear cargo area, an issue with many EV’s based on conventional automobiles.
Charging the e-Golf is easier than many EV’s that have come before it. You can charge over night with a 120V plug, but it also comes with a standard 230V charge cord that can be plugged in to a standard wall socket without the use of an external charger.
You can of course use an available quick charger or public charging station as a third alternative for the fastest charging.
It gets some cool new features like LED headlights, the very first Volkswagen to get them. All e-Golf models will be four-doors and come in fully loaded trim levels. This includes top end infotainment and interior comforts, trims, and equipment.
Setting the e-Golf apart visually will be special alloy wheels that are designed for maximum aerodynamics, blue accent strips in the trim, and unique fascias front and rear. The 16” alloy wheels get low rolling resistance tires to maximize range.
When the e-Golf arrives next year pricing will likely be at a slight premium over competitors like the Nissan Leaf and Ford Focus Electric. Expect all the connectivity driving and planning apps which allow you to optimize your charge in more way than you can ever imagine, from the comfort of your smart phone.