NOT one; not two; not even three or four. The ubiquitous Volkswagen Golf is now available with a choice of no less than FIVE power sources.
True, they’ve not all arrived yet (the plug-in hybrid GTE arrives next year) but the pure electric e-Golf is here now, and whispering its way around a street near you.
Like VW’s first pure electric offering, the e-up!, launched earlier this year, the e-Golf can be charged from a household three pin socket using the cable you’ll find in the boot.
They claim a range of up to 118 miles, but 100 miles is probably a more realistic working range.
And the continued growth in charging points across the country will add to the attraction. The eight inch screen sat nav can be configured with a concentric circle that gives you a maximum range in any direction or a reduced estimation to get you there and back again. And it’ll show all the charging points along the way.
There’s a handy button by the car’s charging point that you can press so it won’t go on charge straight away, but wait for your Economy 7 rate to click in at night, making it even cheaper to charge.
It’s almost like a car with one pedal as use of the regenerative braking system means you can lift off and the car will brake itself. If you anticipate what’s ahead you only really need your right foot for much of a trip.
Auto hold is an excellent feature, keeping the car stationary till you want to move off.
The acceleration on tap in an e-Golf proves a bit of an eye opener, one strong continuous surge. As with all electric cars, it delivers maximum pulling power from the off with a top speed of 87mph.
An AC electric motor (85 kW/115PS, and 270Nm) provides the drive, linked to the front wheels via a single-speed gearbox. The lithium-ion battery is integrated into the Golf’s floor and weighs 318 kg. It consists of 264 cells, together rated at 323 Volts and 24.2 kWh.
Electric versions of VW’s are highlighted by the blue edging to the VW logo on the boot, as well as neat blue stitching inside.
As well as a standard driving mode, the e-Golf has two economy profiles: ‘Eco’ and ‘Eco+’. ‘Eco’ cuts peak power to 95PS, reduces the output of the air conditioning system and modifies the accelerator response. Top speed is cut to 71mph and 0-62mph takes 13.4 seconds.
‘Eco+’ limits maximum power to 75PS, torque to 175Nm, and top speed to 56mph, while the accelerator response is modified and the air conditioning disabled.
The e-Golf’s range can also be influenced by regenerative braking. There are five modes: D, D1, D2, D3 and B. In D, the vehicle coasts without regenerative braking when the accelerator is lifted. In each other mode, lifting off the accelerator pedal provides greater regenerative braking. In D2, D3 and B, the brake lights are activated when the driver’s foot is lifted from the accelerator pedal, provided that a predetermined level of deceleration is achieved.
The battery has a five year guarantee and will retain 75 per cent of its charge at that point but the word from VW insiders is that the figure could be as high as eight years and 80 per cent – slightly more reassuring but obviously not guaranteed.
In the UK, the e-Golf is available with five doors only, and in a single well-equipped trim level based on the standard Golf SE, with the addition of 2Zone climate control, front and rear parking sensors, e-specific alloy wheels and Discover Pro satellite navigation, with an eight-inch colour touchscreen.
For the e-Golf the Discover Pro system includes a range display, and the option to pre-programme the vehicle’s heating or cooling systems. For smartphone users (Android or iOS), the Volkswagen ‘Car-Net’ app enables many vehicle functions to be controlled remotely, including charging, heating or cooling and more. Three years’ subscription to Car Net is included as standard.
With a standard UK 230-Volt, 2.3 kW supply, this recharges the battery in 13 hours. An optional wallbox for home use provides 3.6 kW supply and can recharge a flat battery in eight hours. Through use of the e-Golf’s standard combined charging system (CCS) and a DC supply, the battery can be fully recharged (at levels of up to 40 kW) to 80 per cent capacity in just 30 minutes.
Interesting fact: The heated windscreen has no wires – it has a film over it which partially masks your phone signal. But put your Bluetooth phone into the centre armrest and it magically picks up the signal again. Very handy.
© wheelwrite.co.uk 2014