Volkswagen of America announced details of the e-Golf, its first fully electric vehicle to go on sale in the U.S., which will debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The e-Golf is part of a structured powertrain strategy that will lead to the timely introduction of new and alternative drive systems, and is a part of Volkswagen’s holistic approach to sustainability, Think Blue. Volkswagen has stated that it aims to be the world leader in e-mobility among automakers by 2018.
Although Volkswagen has sold more than 30 million Golf models worldwide, this is the first zero tailpipe emissions, fully electric version of the car that will be sold to the public. The e-Golf is available in five-door form only and is immediately recognizable by its unique aluminum-alloy wheels and by its LED headlights, the first time they have been used as standard on a Volkswagen vehicle. The LED headlights are more energy-efficient than Bi-Xenon systems, yet produce even more light. The standard LED daytime running lights are also highly energy-efficient and have a signature C-shaped design, a feature of Volkswagen’s electric vehicles. Another striking feature is the colored strip across the radiator grille that consciously aligns the e-Golf with Volkswagen’s Think Blue sustainability campaign.
The e-Golf is due to go on sale in the U.S. in select states in the fourth quarter of 2014.
The e-Golf is powered by a 115-horsepower electric motor. From a standing start the EEM-85 synchronous permanent-magnet AC motor develops an impressive 199 pound-feet of torque, allowing the e-Golf to reach 25 mph from rest in 4.2 seconds and to get to 60 mph in approximately 10.4 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 87 mph.
Depending on driving style and charging behavior, the average range for the e-Golf is between 70 and 90 miles. Helping ensure optimal range in cold weather is a newly developed heat pump that is part of the e-Golf’s comprehensive list of standard equipment.
In ‘Eco+’ mode, the electronics limit the power output to 74 hp and the starting torque to 129 lb-ft, further flatten the accelerator pedal response curve and the air conditioning is switched off. The e-Golf now reaches a top speed of 56 mph and accelerates at a correspondingly slower rate. Nevertheless, full power, maximum torque, and the 87 mph top speed can be obtained if the driver depresses the accelerator pedal fully down in either ‘Eco’ or ‘Eco+’ mode.