Volkswagen announced in 2010 that it was developing an electric version of the Golf that would be released in America in 2014. The electric Golf, or “E-Golf,” is still on track for a 2014 release in the U.S., after debuting in Europe.
Still slated for production
In 2010, according to Car and Driver, Volkswagen announced that it was developing electric vehicle architecture and creating an electric Golf, which Volkswagen took to the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show. At the time, Volkswagen said the electric Golf, dubbed the “Golf Blue-e-motion” at the time, would go on sale in late 2013 in Europe and then in the United States in 2014, both ostensibly as 2014 model year cars, which is still happening.
The next generation Golf will be built using Volkswagen’s MQB architecture, a modular chassis system the company devised to share parts between brands under the Volkswagen umbrella, which includes Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini and Skoda among others. MQB also allows easy incorporation of plug-in hybrid or full electric drivetrains as well as gas and diesel propulsion. The electric version arrives after the standard Golf Mark VII, which is arriving by mid-2013.
Test program under way
The electric Golf, currently named the “E-Golf,” is being road-tested by Volkswagen across the globe, according to CNET. The testing program has 500 E-Golfs on the road worldwide, including 20 in the state of California.
The car performs competitively with the Nissan Leaf and the Mitsubishi i-Miev. The E-Golf has a 26.5 kilowatt-hour battery pack, which takes between six and seven hours to recharge. The electric motor produces 85 kilowatts (less than 115 horsepower) and can get the car from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 11.8 seconds. The car has a top speed of 87 miles per hour and a range of 93 miles on a charge.
Drivers can select from Eco or Range modes of power consumption while driving. Range is the most restrictive, which reduces all other power use while driving. The car also uses regenerative braking technology, which generates electricity from kinetic energy and charges the battery. Regenerative braking is engaged by selecting “B” mode via a button on the steering wheel and the driver selects the intensity via the wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
Hybrid Jetta first
There is no price available yet, but it should add quite a premium to the base price of the Golf. However, before the E-Golf arrives, Volkswagen will debut the environmentally friendly Jetta Hybrid, according to MotorTrend, which goes on sale in December.
The Jetta Hybrid combines a 220-volt battery pack, producing 27 horsepower with a 150 horsepower 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The all-electric range is limited, but the Jetta is relatively quick for a non-sport hybrid, getting from 0 to 60 in less than nine seconds, quicker than other hybrids like the Toyota Prius. The price isn’t available yet, but MotorTrend estimates it will cost about $26,000.