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.
by Zack McDonald: HybridCars.com
Slated to debut for 2015, Volkswagen says that its seventh-generation Golf will feature a slew of powertrain options—including a plug-in hybrid version that Auto Express recently rated 5-stars after briefly driving an early prototype. The plug-in hybrid Golf will join the forthcoming 2013 VW Blue E-Motion electric as one of two electric-drive variants on the carmaker’s most popular vehicle.
The prototype plug-in hybrid Golf is based on the currently available Golf platform—not on the Golf VII vehicle—but its powertrain is the same as the one in development for use in production versions of the Golf and other plug-ins. That powertrain features a 1.4-liter TSI turbocharged gasoline engine and an 80-kW electric motor. For the next-generation production version, the powerplants will sit on Volkswagen’s new Modular Transverse Matrix platform (abbreviated MQB in German,) which will allow the company to drop an array of drivetrain configurations into any MQB-based vehicle.
Volkswagen claims the plug-in hybrid Golf will offer up to 30 miles of electric-only range, which is similar to the Chevy Volt. Furthermore, VW notes that its plug-in Golf should be rated at approximately 117 MPGe U.S. (based on European test results) and emits 46 grams per kilometer of CO2.
“On the move, the plug-in Golf is very impressive indeed. Under most driving conditions it’s effectively an electric car—and you really need to press very hard on the throttle for the petrol engine to cut in at all,” according to Auto Express. “In town, it’s fast enough for you to breeze through traffic. Plus, the motor is so powerful, the engine is barely used on high-speed roads.”
Volkswagen expects the Golf Plug-in to be priced similarly to its turbocharged Golf GTI model, which currently starts at just under $24,000. That’s an impressive price point that should make the car competitive with other electric-drive options like the Nissan LEAF, Chevy Volt and Ford Focus Electric.
A closer-to-production Golf Plug-in concept is scheduled to be shown at the 2012 Paris Motor Show this September.