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VW debuts 2017 e-Golf; more range, more technology; Q2 2017; Transparent Factory

Volkswagen of America presented the latest generation of the e-Golf in a world premiere at AutoMobility LA. Compared to its predecessor, the 2017 e-Golf offers almost 50% more range, more power and new features. The 2017 e-Golf, which should be onsale in the US in Q2 2017, should be priced comparably to its predecessor, Volkswagen said.

For 2017, Volkswagen equipped the e-Golf with a new lithium-ion battery the energy capacity of which has been increased 48% from 24.2 kWh to 35.8 kWh. The new battery increases the range by about 50%, with the aim of a driving range of up to an EPA-estimated 124 miles (200 km) on a single charge. (In the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), the 2017 e-Golf offers a range of up to 300 km / 186 miles.) The 7.2 kW on-board charger is now standard on both SE and SEL Premium trims, which enables the battery to be fully charged in less than six hours at a traditional charging station. When equipped with DC Fast Charging (optional on SE, standard on SEL Premium), the battery can be charged to 80% within an hour at a DC fast charging station (CCS, 40 kW).

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The electric motor has been upgraded to deliver 134 horsepower (100 kW)—19 hp more than the first version of the e-Golf. At the same time, the maximum torque of the electric motor has been boosted from 199 pound-feet (270 N·m) to 214 lb-ft (290 N·m). The 2017 e-Golf runs zero to 60 mph more than a second faster than its predecessor—now in 9.6 seconds—and its top speed increases to 93 mph (150 km/h). Combined fuel consumption remains steady at 12.7 kWh/100 km in the NEDC.

The 2017 e-Golf offers new features such as the fully digital and interactive Volkswagen Digital Cockpit. With this optional system, all instruments—including specific e-Golf instruments such as the power meter—are virtually implemented on the 12.3-inch color screen. There are different information profiles which change the type of information displayed and the graphics in certain areas. Information can be integrated on driving, navigation and assistance functions and display phone contact images or album cover art.

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The available Discover Pro infotainment system trim has a large 9.2-inch glass display with a completely new design. For the first time in a Golf, it is possible to individually configure the home screen. In addition, the innovative gesture control system, first debuted at CES 2015, is planned to become reality in the next two years for the US market.

Gesture control works in a wide variety of menus. All it takes is a hand swipe gesture to move the horizontally arranged menu items to the left or right, allowing the user to navigate through the main menu, change radio stations, or skip to the next song. The e-Golf continues to offer remote access via the Volkswagen Car-Net app (including battery charging and auxiliary air conditioning), as well as Car-Net App-Connect for compatible smartphones that offers Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and MirrorLink integration and Guide & Inform services.

Volkswagen is also extending the range of driver assistance systems for the e-Golf in the 2017 model year. Forward Collision Warning with Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist) adds pedestrian monitoring, which will warn the driver acoustically and visually, supply increased braking pressure, and if the driver does not react, apply the brakes in order to help mitigate a collision with a pedestrian as well as other vehicles.

An optional Driver Assistance Package for the SEL Premium will include the following features: Volkswagen Digital Cockpit, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist) with Pedestrian Monitoring, Blind Spot Monitor Plus, Lane Assist, Park Assist and Light Assist.

The facelifted Golf family debuted in Europe just a week ago (earlier post); the 2017 e-Golf is the first of the Golf family to being design changes to the US market. (The other updated Golf models should follow in late Q3 or so.) The standout exterior changes include new bumpers, front fenders and LED headlights and taillights. In the front, the new bumper integrates the unmistakable C-shaped LED auxiliary Daytime Running Lights and is accented by the traditional blue grille trim strip, which carries into the redesigned headlights. The rear was also designed to be more charismatic. Along with a new bumper, new LED taillights define the design. Inside, new décor and seat trim gives e-Golf a fresh look.

Production in The Transparent Factory in Dresden. The Volkswagen brand is converting the Transparent Factory in Dresden (earlier post) into a production facility again. From April 2017, the new e-Golf will be produced there in addition to the main Golf plant in Wolfsburg.

Volkswagen will invest more than €20 million (US$21 million) in the development of the Transparent Factory into a “Center of Future Mobility”. In addition, Volkswagen Sachsen and Dresden recently agreed on a comprehensive partnership to foster e-mobility and digitalization which is to make Dresden a model city for sustainable, integrated urban mobility.

Production of the e-Golf in Dresden will initially begin in single-shift operation. Customers will be able to take delivery of all the electrified models of the Volkswagen brand—the e-up!, the e-Golf, the Golf GTE and the Passat GTE—in Dresden in addition to the Autostadt in Wolfsburg.

One year ago, the Transparent Factory was converted into a “showcase for e-mobility and digitalization” for visitors and customers. More than 40 exhibits and vehicles currently give a glimpse of the future of mobility in an interactive, entertaining way. Since then, more than 75,000 people have visited the facility and more than 1,800 potential customers have taken the opportunity for a test drive with electric vehicles.

Comments

Dr. Strange Love

Does this thing have a range extending option? They make it sound like it does. 125 miles is not enough for all-around transport without a range extender.

Lad

Hold out for 200 miles EPA rated, even if you only drive it 50 miles a day. The extra range resolves in general, into a longer battery life if you don't need to charge it fully everyday. Nissan spent millions in PR trying to convince buyers they didn't need a longer range car...all hogwash. Tesla knew what they were doing by improving mileage right along and their success proves Nissan wrong. Nissan papered over their errors and lack of innovation with PR.

Dr. Strange Love

LAD. Good point. Short Cycling batteries, compressors, and so on, can damage life-cycle.

DaveD

Yep. The bar has been raised, manufacturers...stop trying to tell us we're happy with less.

If they want to offer a lower range car and somebody TRULY never drives more than 20-50 miles a day, then I have no problem with a cheaper *option* being available. But 200 miles is the bar now guys....let's go.

Dr. Strange Love

Agree. Advertising is key here. If you have seen the recent Smart EV Ad, it all-but-shouts "City" vehicle. VW should be careful to "qualify" who among potential owners this vehicle is intended. This platform could cause long-term owner satisfaction issues. The general, the Golf is perceived as an all around general use vehicle.

Account Deleted

The total life range durability of the battery increases with battery range of cause when the cells are the same. But the cells are often not the same. The Bolt with a 60kwh pack still has an 8 year, 100.000 miles warranty on the battery even though its BEV range is 238 miles. Tesla offers 8 years and unlimited miles warranty on their drivetrain and battery even in their 60kwh version (which is a software truncated 75kwh pack).

http://media.chevrolet.com/media/us/en/chevrolet/news.detail.html/content/Pages/news/us/en/2016/Jan/naias/chevy/0111-bolt-du.html

Looking forward to see the warranty offered by Tesla on their Model 3 that will have a 55kwh pack. I don’t think it will be unlimited miles but maybe 300.000 miles. It will matter a lot because on the Tesla Network all of Tesla’s vehicles should easily be able to do 100.000 miles per year starting late 2018. The maximum would be about 255.000 miles per year if driving 20 hours per day all 365 days in the year at 35 mph. So battery mileage warranty will matter a lot.

The pour range of the e-Golf is because this is a gasser car that has been retrofitted as a BEV. VW will have to make dedicated BEVs to do much better. I expect they will no later than 2020. However, having a car that can by Model 3 in 2020 does not mean you have the capacity to make it in volume. I expect VW to spend 5 more years after 2020 to get into volume production of driverless BEVs.

electric-car-insider.com

The new crop of 110-125 mile BEVs are an interim step, but a welcome one if the price is right. There will be strong demand for the Bolt from relatively affluent Leaf drivers, but if the e-Golf, Focus Electric and Leaf are priced $10k less (under $20k after incentives) there will still be a market there.

Once the Bolts start coming off 3 year leases though, Katie bar the door. These 100 milers will be the bargain of the century, both new and used.

80 mile (probably 50 mile effectively) Leafs, Focus, Fiat 500e will be $1-2k. They'll be all the rage in high school parking lots.

SJC

VW is firing workers, management cheats then workers suffer.

DaveD

My daughter just graduated with an Electrical Engineering degree and had an offer for the VW team in Chattanooga...which suddenly got pulled and they've frozen all hiring.

Richard C Burton

Insider; why do you refer to the Bolt as a "100 miler"? Are you implying that their 200+ mile range is a fiction? I thought I'd read where they really do go 200+ miles...

Thomas Pedersen

Henrik,

The 200+ mile VW BEV is called I.D. It was announced about a month ago and, as you said, features a new BEV platform called MEB.

I could be one of those suckers who might buy an e-Golf, but what happens to the re-sale value when a new car with more interior space comes out with 50% more range and comparable cost? (Rhetorical question...).

No doubt Tesla has quite a head start over VW but the latter has decades of experience in churning out cars by the millions. As long as they can source batteries and e-motors fast enough, I think they could catch up pretty quickly.

We'll see...

Brent Jatko

@ Thomas Pedersen:

Yeah, I'd wait for the new 373 mile range (on the more generous European cycle?) MEB based vehicle coming in 2020 according to Autoblog, see link: http://www.autoblog.com/2016/09/14/new-vw-meb-electric-vehicle-373-mile-range/

Account Deleted

Yes we will see. I am more optimistic about VW catching up to Tesla on BEVs than I am with Toyota. Toyota has not even started yet. VW has at least started to build BEV experience and manpower with the short range BEVs and I believe that VW is giving it a serious effort doing that ID by 2020. It needs to be fully self-driving or it cannot compete at all with Tesla at that time.

Tesla has employed many engineers from VW, Benz and BMW to make the Model S and X possible. They have the experience with high volume production and Tesla also just acquired the German automation expert Grohmann Engineering so almost 1000 experienced German engineers are now working to make Model 3 a volume car. I think the old auto industry will be shocked at how quickly Tesla will become a million cars per year automaker. It could happen by the end of 2020. I also think Tesla can get this massive expansion financed by profits made on the Tesla Network when it goes online sometime in H2, 2018.

HarveyD

Posters should not give up too quickly on Toyota current and future HEVs, PHEVs, FCEVs and extended range BEVs.

With the latest Prius HEV/Prius Prime PHEV, Mirai FCEV, near future FCEV trucks and other related models, Toyota has 20+ years of experience in mass manufacturing electrified vehicles.

That being said, Toyota will have no problem making competitive high quality extended range BEVs by 2020/2021/2022. The price will depend a lot on the performance and cost of batteries in 4 to 5 years down the line. A large Toyota battery and BEV factory in China would help to keep the new BEVs competitive.

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