Priced from £25,845
Order books are now open for the new Volkswagen e-Golf, it is a welcome arrival in the market allowing more choice alongside the Nissan Leaf and the recently launched BMW i3.
The electric car is based on the popular existing model but is obviously quieter, smoother and of course cheaper to run than the conventionally powered Volkswagen Golf. Standard features include automatic climate control with parking heater and ventilation, radio-navigation system, windscreen heating, LED daytime running lights and the Volkswagen brand’s first use of LED headlights. There are five levels of energy regeneration, and the maximum range is one hundred and eighteen miles. However, that’s only really achievable if you’re using Eco or Eco+ modes, the latter drops power from 113bhp to 94bhp and disables the air-conditioning. Reports suggest that if you leave it in ‘normal’ mode the car feels far quicker than its claimed 0-62mph time in 10.4 seconds.
Other standard features with the Golf include an eight-speaker CD sound system and an auxiliary audio jack. Optional features include Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, satellite radio, iPod connectivity, navigation and an audio system with a touch-screen display.
A full charge of the new e-Golf takes approximately eight hours from a British Gas-installed charger at your home although like the Nissan Leaf and BMW i3. So it the e-Golf only suitable for short trips and predictable journey patterns? VW say that with the right energy tariff you would be paying around 5p per mile for your electricity used, Top Gear say a petrol car averaging 30mpg will cost around 15p per mile at current UK fuel prices. It obviously does depend on what you need from your car, a realistic range of one hundred miles is far more than enough for most day to day commuting needs, but if you are on regular trips from Manchester to London then perhaps the e-Golf isn't for you.
The Volkswagen E-Golf will be VW's first electric car entry to hit the market. By placing an electric drivetrain into one of the most popular small cars in the world, VW hopes to convince the car-buying public that EVs have attained much more than niche status. The Volkswagen e-Golf costs £25,845 after the £5,000 Government grant which makes it around £165 more than than the BMW i3, but not that much more expensive than the traditional Volkswagen Golf.