Electric vehicles are slowly becoming more popular and are sold to more people each year. Even with more people beginning to own EV’s there are still so many more that don’t know about most of the benefits that these vehicles come with. There’s a reason that so many people are picking up EV’s today, and why so many more will begin to in the near future, and it’s not just to save money on fuel. Electric vehicles are fun to drive, and much more affordable than gasoline vehicles are over the long term. When you consider all the benefits that cars like the VW e-Golf and Nissan Leaf have to offer they make sense to get.
Easier to Maintain
One of the biggest benefits of an all-electric vehicle is that it’s easy to maintain compared to a gasoline-powered one. EV’s have far fewer moving parts and they are less likely to fail or have costly repairs. This means you can do more of the maintenance on your own, and enjoy driving a vehicle that doesn’t have to be worked on all the time. Over time the lack of maintenance will help you save a great deal of time and money.
Save on Fuel Costs
I know, I know gas prices dropped down recently, but even at $2.00 a gallon, or whatever the price is near you, EV drivers are likely still saving on fuel costs. This is because electricity is cheaper than gasoline. When the prices eventually creep backup (and they will!) EV owners will really be reaping the benefits. At 15,000 miles a year it’s likely that an EV driver would save at least $1,000 a year and that figure goes up quite a bit of gas prices increase again.
A Calm and Soothing Ride
Electric vehicles are surprisingly quiet, and that’s not a bad thing. Some car enthusiasts will miss the rumble of a gasoline engine, but I didn’ the first time I took an EV out. Mostly I was amazed at how quiet the ride is, and I kept wondering if the vehicle was on at all. EV’s also smell better than gasoline engines and you don’t have the harmful fumes to worry about breathing in while driving around.
They are a Blast to Drive
Even without all the other benefits it would make sense to pick up an electric vehicle because they are so much fun to drive. If you haven’t experienced one yet you’re missing out and you don’t know the true value of an electric vehicle. Automakers love to go on and on about all the money that buyers will save, or about how the cars are good for the environment, but they never focus on how much fun the cars are to drive.
Electric vehicles accelerate so uniformly and so immediately that it’s like controlling a jet on the road. You step down on the thruster and blast off from a standstill to high speeds nearly instantly. With 100 percent of the torque available right away even small engines feel potent and ready to strike. If you’ve always wanted an electric vehicle for the other benefits, but haven’t had the motivation to go through with the purchase, get yourself to a dealership and test drive one of these cars. Once you realize how fun they are you won’t have any trouble getting the motivation to make the purchase anymore. That’s how good electric vehicles are, and how confident I am in their capabilities.
With all the federal and state incentives, and battery prices dropping each year it makes sense to pick up an electric vehicle if you do a lot of local driving. Whether you get a car, truck or SUV. Your new EV will make driving more enjoyable and save you a bit of cash as well.
Volkswagen recently announced that they would be dedicating more than $10 million to helping expand the electric charger infrastructure in the United States, but they did so with a bit of reserve, saying that it was imperative for the U.S. Government to get involved as well and help make the dream of a widespread charging infrastructure possible for everyone. One thing’s for certain though, and that Volkswagen is invested in electric technology heavily, and that they are likely to be a major player in the industry as it develops and matures.
Much of the commitment that VW made is going to be tied up in a partnership with BMW and ChargePoint to create a series of rapid charge stations up and down the east and west coast of the country. These stations will work to charge both VW and BMW electric vehicles, and they will do so quickly and efficiently. The technology should help allow electric car owners drive a bit farther with confidence that they will be able to find a place to recharge without being stranded along the way. It will also make it easier for people to purchase electric cars and use them to commute back and forth with convenience, a task that can be especially difficult for people who live in apartments or condos where they may not have the ability to run power cords to their vehicle.
Adding Chargers to Dealerships
Some of the money will also be spent adding in charging stations to Volkswagen Dealerships around the country. This should help encourage customers to buy electric cars more confidently and also provide more charging locations around the country to make driving electric cars more than just around the block a realistic goal.
Future Electric Cars are Needed
Volkswagen has already made their presence known in the electric car industry with the highly praised e-Golf model that they developed, but electric-powered vehicles still have a long way to go before they can realistically replace internal combustion vehicles for more than just trips around town. With a maximum range of just over 80 miles the e-Golf is the perfect tool for the daily commute, or driving around town, but most owners don’t own quick charging technology and that means that this vehicle can only be operated once or twice a day at the most before the charge is depleted. As vehicle ranges are extended, charging technologies are improved and the infrastructure is expanded electric cars will become a more regular sight out on the roads that run in between major towns and cities as well.
People are more than happy to drive around in electric vehicles, but most of them are afraid to do so for fear of running out of power before completing their trip. e-car ranges just aren’t high enough for long-distance travelling at the moment and there aren’t enough charging stations around the country either. With enough automakers working to make improvements to the infrastructure, and hopefully some government involvement over time, the electric car industry should grow and hopefully become a possible alternative to gasoline vehicles in time. Volkswagen and a few other automakers are working hard to make that possible and we’re likely to see an industry shift toward the technology as it develops and matures over time.
Volkswagen continues to prove its commitment to green technology with the unveiling of the e-Golf at this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show. With a full array of diesel vehicles and the recent introduction of the gas-electric Jetta Hybrid, the e-Golf moves Volkswagen into the realm of all-electric vehicles.
Boasting a range of between 70 and 90 miles, the e-Golf is able to manipulate its electric motor’s power delivery to give drivers the option of more horsepower or greater range.
Three different driving modes are available: Normal, Eco, and Eco+. In Normal mode the e-Golf makes a full 115-horsepower and 199 lb-ft of torque, or enough power to take the e-Golf from 0-60 mph in a reasonable 10.4 seconds.
Stepping up to Eco mode improves the vehicles range, but also pulls back some of the e-Golf’s modest power. With 94-horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque available in Eco mode, the e-Golf scoots from 0-60 in 13.1 seconds.
For owners who really want to get the most range from their e-Golf, there’s Eco+ mode. With power pared down to 74-horsepower and 129 lb-ft of torque, and the A/C shut off, Eco+ mode is ideal for city use.
In the event a Volkswagen e-Golf owner does find his or her car out of electricity, Volkswagen is offering an exclusive roadside assistance plan that will take an owner and his or her e-Golf to a charging station at no cost, provided that the owner is within 100 miles of his or her home.
Furthermore, if an owner does not want to wait with his or her e-Golf as it charges, Volkswagen will cover the cost of a cab ride home; though, such an event will likely be rare as the e-Golf’s battery can be recharged to 80-percent of its capacity in approximately 30 minutes when using a DC Fast Charging system.
Volkswagen designed the e-Golf to help owners cope with potential range anxiety. A range monitor provides the driver with general information, such as the impact auxiliary systems like the A/C will have on the e-Golf’s range. And regenerative braking will be offered in three different levels in order to allow e-Golf driver’s to recapture the most kinetic energy back if they so desire.
Unlike many modern electric vehicles, the e-Golf is unique in that its architecture was designed from the start to use electric propulsion. As such, the battery and electric motor don’t intrude into the passenger compartment.
Sporting the familiar styling of the all-new Golf, the e-Golf wears a unique fascia with “C-shaped” LED daytime running lamps that will become a signature cue of all electric Volkswagen’s. Volkswagen also added LED headlamps that use less energy than halogen or xenon units.
The e-Golf marks the beginning of a new electric age at Volkswagen and we at LAcarGUY News look forward to seeing the next steps the company takes on the road to electrification. LAcarGUY News will be at the Los Angeles Auto Show posting the latest news and images from the show on our Facebook pages. Be sure to “Like” Pacific Volkswagen and Volkswagen Santa Monica on Facebook to get the latest information from the show floor.