The VW e-Golf is the first electric car to join the carwow test car fleet. Can it slot into our daily lives as easily as a petrol or diesel car?
Unsure about making the switch to an electric car? One of the ways to overcome this anxiety is to package the car in something thoroughly familiar – and this is certainly the case with the Volkswagen e-Golf.
It looks and feels just like your average run-of-the-mill Golf. No wacky styling to shout out its electric car credentials here. It’s just a Golf with an electric motor and batteries instead of an engine and fuel tank.
It’s a bit more expensive than your standard Golf, however, costing just over £30,000, even with the up-to-£3,500 government grant. Our car has a few options, too: there’s the Winter pack (£410 for headlight washers, heated front seats, and heated washer jets), Active Info Display (£525 – for a 12-inch digital instrument binnacle in place of conventional dials) and keyless entry (£390). The most expensive option on our car is the £860 heat pump. This recycles heat from ambient air and drivetrain components, helping to make the car up to 36% more efficient in winter.
That said, the e-Golf’s best-scenario range of 140 miles is still 100 miles short of what the latest EVs – such as a Hyundai Kona Electric – can manage. But, when the average UK commute is under 10 miles, does that really matter?
It doesn’t to me.
Since I took delivery, the e-Golf has been used mainly for zipping around town on errands. So I’ve been topping the battery up, rather than running it to empty; it’s fitted nicely into my routine as a result.
That brings me on to the only glitch of electric car ownership thus far. It didn’t directly involve the e-Golf – rather, the charging point I’d arranged to have installed at my house. It turns out that my house’s wiring doesn’t comply with the latest safety regulations, so no charge point was installed. It’s not the worst thing in the world to happen, as I can still use a standard plug to charge up the car – even if it will take an age (17 hours to be precise) – and there are quicker charging points just a few minutes drive away. But it did leave me wondering, how many houses out there have wiring that isn’t up to the job? Is this a blocker to growing the popularity of electric cars? Or is it just my house?!
Only time will tell but, apart from this hiccup, it’s been super easy living with the e-Golf. The instant acceleration coming out of junctions and entering roundabouts makes it really good fun to drive in town. It’s practical as well, with enough space for my two daughters in the back and a week’s shopping in the boot. Longer journeys will take a little bit of extra planning but, as a city runaround, we’ve got off to a good start.
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