Volkswagen e-Golf Now Available

What am I looking at?

The latest in the line of fully electric family cars - Volkswagen's e-Golf.

What's new?

In essence, not a great deal - and that's to the e-Golf's advantage. Rather than being a ground-up, bespoke design based around electric motion, this is a Golf that happens to use electricity to move. It's a familiar shape and a familiar feel on the inside, so if you've already driven the conventional versions there's nothing too out-of-place here.

What powers it?

The e-Golf uses the same basic concept as the e-Up!, only with a little more power. The front wheels are driven by a 113hp AC electric motor, through a single-speed gearbox, powered by a 390V lithium ion battery pack in the Golf's floorpan.

In normal driving, this gives the e-Golf comparable acceleration figures to the Golf BlueMotion diesel, though power can be limited in Eco and Eco+ driving modes. These decrease the available power and top speed to gain range for intensive city driving - which Volkswagen sets at up to 118 miles depending on conditions.

How much will it cost me?

For now, pure electric vehicles are pricey tech and the e-Golf isn't an exception at 30,845. The 5,000 Plug-In Car Grant brings this down to a more palatable 25,845 - about the same as the Golf GTD. It's only available in a single specification, based on the Golf SE. For up to date prices have a glance overour Golf offerspage.

Of course as a plug-in car it has a carbon dioxide rating of 0 g/km and qualifies both for zero rate Vehicle Excise Duty and London Congestion Charge exemption, and while deliveries won't start until June you can order your car now.

Anything else?

One of the key factors with EVs is recharge times. Just like the e-up!, the e-Golf can be charged from any standard three pin socket and will fully charge in 13 hours from a domestic 230V supply.

However, British Gas will supply you with a dedicated charging box that provides a bit more kick and will deliver you a full charge in just 8 hours, while 80% charge is available for Eco+ mode (limited to 54hp and 56mph) in just 35 minutes. The box is free of charge and VW e-Golf owners are eligible for green electricity tariffs.

Any alternatives?

There's a smattering of EVs already available, but these are primarily very small cars like the e-Up!. The Golf still has major competition in the electric family car sector though.

Leading the way is the trendsetter of the class, Nissan's Leaf. Recently revised, the Leaf undercuts the Golf by a long way if you opt into the Nissan-Renault battery lease scheme and was designed from the outset as an electric vehicle rather than adapted to be one.

Elsewhere there's Ford's electric Focus - like the Golf, a familiar car only with battery power. It's a hair more expensive than the Golf though.

In a line...

The electric car that makes the technology mainstream.

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