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Production version of Volkswagen E-Golf slated for US in 2014

A glimpse under the hood of an E-Golf prototype at the power electronics. Traction motor is partially seen at bottom. Click to enlarge.

Volkswagen intends to bring the production version of the battery-electric E-Golf to market in the US in 2014 (first market introduction will be in 2013). The production version of the E-Golf will be based on a new MQB platform (the “A7” Golf), rather than the current version (“A6” Golf) used for the prototypes currently in fleet testing, according to Mark Gillies, Volkswagen Group of America’s Manager, Product & Technology (and former executive editor of Car and Driver).

One of the differences will likely be in the layout of the battery pack, said Gillies. In the current prototype model, the 26.5 kWh Li-ion battery pack (180 cells, 30 modules) runs down the center tunnel, beneath the rear bench seat and into the floor of the trunkspace.

The E-Golf looks just like a current four-door Golf, with seating for five people. It is driven by an 85 kW (peak) electric motor that delivers 270 N·m (199 lb-ft) of torque. The E-Golf has an estimated driving range of 93 miles (150 km); however, the specific range will depend on driving style and factors such as the use of air conditioning and heating.

Portion of the new US E-Golf test fleet at Volkswagen ERL. Click to enlarge.

Volkswagen of America will begin a pilot scheme to test 20 prototype E-Golf Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) over a nine-month period in select locations in the US. Twelve of these vehicles will be allocated to selected Volkswagen employees during the time period. (Earlier post.)

As with other OEM fleet tests of BEV prototypes, Volkswagen will use its testing to fine-tune the feature set and content of the vehicle, as well as gain a better understanding of driver behavior and ways to optimize range in the car (e.g., when to use the conventional heated air windshield defroster versus a lower power consumption electric front windshield heater).

At a recent full-line drive and technology event held in Half Moon Bay, California (close to the Volkswagen Electronics Research Laboratory (ERL) in Belmont, CA, where some of the e-mobility work is being done) Volkswagen had one of the E-Golf prototypes available for very short drives. (With no charger available at the site, and the need to drive the E-Golf back to ERL, media access was of necessity limited.)

Like some other BEVs, the E-Golf offers the ability to select via the shifter an aggressive brake regeneration mode. Unlike others, Volkswagen has also implemented paddle shifters on the steering wheel that allow the driver to click through three different settings for regen—the third being the most aggressive and equivalent to the “B” regen setting via the shifter. Extremely aggressive regen can be jarring to some drivers; the paddle shifter access to these three levels allows the driver to adapt easily to more subtle terrain changes (e.g., a dip in the road rather than a steep downhill), and seems to be an excellent enhancement to overall usability.



I love Volkswagen's design philosophy. While some automakers are forcing freakish bizarre looking products into the marketplace, VW continues with what works. Call it what you will, but I'm glad there is someone out there with an "ain't broke don't fix it" philosphy instead of the pervasive "ain't broke fix it until it is" approach that seems to be everywhere.


My wife and I prefer Toyotas....with a lot less initial problems and much lower cost maintenance. I had both over the years and the final choice was trouble free Camrys and Corollas.


It is good to see some of the German car makers coming around to this. BMW has a 2l 8 speed that gets better mileage, but I read that their start/stop uses a conventional starter, which did not get rave reviews.


Better late than never - but is this late?

At near 0% market penetration, all EVs could be viewed as mostly "advanced field eval".

When better batteries evolve they will be ready.

Jim McLaughlin

ejj, when you call some current EV designs "freakish", I must assume you mean they don't look like the cars you are accustomed to, which are optimized for for packaging piston based power trains.

The early combustion power vehicles from 100 or so years ago looked very much like horse drawn carriages. Perhaps today's cars would have looked "freakish" 100 years ago, but they are optimized for very different roads and requirements. Peoples tastes have changed to match.

I drive a car from a company that has built nothing but EVs for 20 years, and it looks very different from what most people are used to. It is extremely practical, combining a very roomy interior with a small exterior, something that is only possible when optimizing for the flexible layout of an EV only drive train. And it draws a great deal of interest, orders of magnitude more than the Mini E I drove for a year, which is quite conventional with its long engine hood.

Perhaps your aversion to the "freakish" is just belying your own aversion to progress?


"Perhaps your aversion to the "freakish" is just belying your own aversion to progress?"

This is the same flawed logic GM used when it created the Pontiac Aztec, one of the biggest automotive disasters of all time. So many of these new electric cars simply look like variants of the Aztec. Fortunately we still have free markets (kinda/sorta --- for now anyway) & we can vote with our own pocketbooks & feet.


Some thought the 1965 VW beetle was homely, but they sold in great numbers. After people saw that they were reliable and fuel efficient, they started to look good.


Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.


It is disappointing that after more than a decade has passed, the EV range is actually less than a GM EV1 with NiMH batteries. With Li-On technology we were supposed to get several hundred miles range. Except for TESLA, no other EV comes close to this. What happened?


Price and reality happened. Batteries cost and the EV1 was leased. GM leased about 1000 units over the years and they never really intended to build them in quantity unless the ZEV laws stayed in effect. They were fighting those in court, it looked like Bush would steal the White House and those would be unsupported by the EPA under Bush.

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