VW Battery-Only Golf A Stop-Gap Before Plug-In Hybrid Arrives

Mar 27 2014, 2:27pm CDT | by

VW Battery-Only Golf A Stop-Gap Before Plug-In Hybrid Arrives
Photo Credit: Forbes Business

BERLIN, Germany – Volkswagen showed its commitment to the electric car revolution when it unveiled its battery-only powered E-Golf, but this is really a stop gap for VW, which plans to concentrate on plug-in hybrids to save fuel and carbon dioxide emissions.

VW, Europe’s biggest car manufacturer, said the E-Golf will go on sale in the U.S. in the fall, although the company is reluctant to talk about likely volumes.

The new battery-only Golf, a medium-sized by European standards family sedan, has some impressive-sounding specifications, according to VW. The electric Golf – a version of the car which is Europe’s biggest seller – has a range of between 80 and 120 miles (always a worry when estimated range can vary by 40 miles). The performance figures are comparable with normal, middle of the range gasoline-engine versions, with 0-60 mph taking just over 10 seconds.

It’s when you look at the price that eye-brows start to rise. The E-Golf retails in Germany at the equivalent of $48,000, although that includes taxes. Another claim for the E-Golf which VW is keen to make clear, is that anyone who buys one will be entitled to 30 days of free car rental a year. In other words, if a buyer ever needs a proper car with acceptable range and performance, VW will arrange a temporary one for you.

The launch of the E-Golf, which took place at Berlin’s storied Tempelhof Airport, also featured an early version of the plug-in hybrid Golf, which is likely to be available on global markets later this year. The Golf GTE hybrid will have a 1.4 liter, 148 hp gasoline engine and a 101 hp electric motor with a theoretical range of 580 miles, and a battery-only capability of 30 miles. That sounds a much more user-friendly combination than the battery-only car.

According to Frost & Sullivan analyst Nicolas Meilhan, the VW E-Golf isn’t going to be a big seller for VW, but  the plug-in hybrid will be.

“Volkswagen isn’t going to sell many battery-only cars. The E-Golf is a stop-gap. It’s telling people that VW is coming with electric cars, but the range-extended (plug-in hybrid) car will come soon in August 2014. That won’t be a niche model like the battery electric car, but will be for the mass market,” Meilhan said.

VW, a recent convert to the efficacy of electric cars, also showed the recently launched little E-Up battery-only city car. VW has been coy about its sales figures.

At the Frankfurt Car Show last September VW surprised investors with what appeared to be a sudden embrace of electrification. VW had gone on the record as expecting global sales of only three per cent of battery-only cars by 2020. That compared with electric enthusiasts like Renault-Nissan, which had breathlessly been claiming a 10 per cent share for battery-only cars in 2020. Lack of enthusiasm from the public forced it to scale back its prediction.

In Frankfurt, VW said it will produce 14 vehicles with “alternative” drive-trains in 2014, with as many as 40 electric or hybrid vehicles on the drawing board. Last November VW unveiled a little diesel electric plug-in hybrid car, the XL1,  capable of up to 261 miles per U.S. gallon.

Previously, VW had said diesel engines could provide high-efficiency motoring for a while yet.

Meanwhile, VW said the E-Golf can be recharged at home in 13 hours, or a special charger can do it in eight hours. A more expensive system using DC current can replace 80 per cent of the battery power in 35 minutes.

The AC electric motor provides 113 hp and 200 lb-ft of torque, driving the front-wheels through a single speed gearbox. The lithium-ion battery is integrated into the floor and weighs 700 lbs. Top speed is 87 mph. The driver can select various degrees of regenerative braking. When the car free-wheels with no resistance it won’t generate any additional electricity. With the maximum resistance selected, unless the car was going downhill, it would quickly be brought to a standstill, so a degree of skill is need to orchestrate the best way to generate free power from the forward motion of the car.

Source: Forbes Business

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Mali confirms two new Ebola cases
United Nations, Nov 26 (IANS) Mali has confirmed two new cases of Ebola, bringing to total number of cases in the West African nation to eight, days ahead of the opening of a new UN Ebola response office.
 
 
Merkel warns of recession in Europe
Berlin, Nov 26 (IANS) German Chancellor Angela Merkel Tuesday warned that Europe could slide back into recession, media reported.
 
 
India, Nepal ink nine deals; Modi inaugurates trauma centre, bus service (Roundup)
Kathmandu, Nov 25 (IANS) Nepal's happiness "gives us joy", Prime Minister Narendra Modi said here Tuesday on his second visit to the Himalayan country in 100 days as both sides inked nine agreements, further cementing their close ties.
 
 
India, Nepal ink 10 deals; Modi inaugurates trauma centre, bus service (Intro Roundup)
Kathmandu, Nov 25 (IANS) Nepal's happiness "gives us joy", Prime Minister Narendra Modi said here Tuesday on his second visit to the Himalayan country in 100 days as both sides inked 10 agreements, including on $1 billion assistance to Nepal.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Mali confirms two new Ebola cases
United Nations, Nov 26 (IANS) Mali has confirmed two new cases of Ebola, bringing to total number of cases in the West African nation to eight, days ahead of the opening of a new UN Ebola response office. The UN...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Paris Hilton hugs cubs of big cats
Mexico, Nov 26 (IANS) Socialite Paris Hilton, who loves animals, was spotted cuddling lion and tiger cubs on her visit to a big cat sanctuary here. The 33-year-old couldn't resist sharing several videos and...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Don't Miss these Black Friday Deals and Sales
Black Friday 2014 will end in 4 days. The biggest release of deals is still to come, but there are already many Black Friday 2014 Sales underway. Thanksgiving Day mark will be the big launch day for online and in-store...
Read more on Black Friday Countdown
 
Taylor Swift cautious of fake friends
Taylor Swift has no time for fake friends. The 'Shake It Off' hitmaker says she's not interested in being friends with people who are only keen on spending time with her because she's rich and famous. She explained: ''...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Cyber Monday Deals better than Black Friday Deals?
Black Friday 2014 Sales are underway. We count over 12 Black Friday 2014 sales that either have fully launched or offer a selection of the advertised Black Friday deals. Each year there is discussion about if Black...
Read more on Black Friday Countdown
 
Shia LaBeouf abides by plea deal
Shia LaBeouf is abiding by the plea deal he reached with Manhattan prosecutors after his drunken meltdown in June. The 'Fury' actor appeared in Manhattan Criminal Court earlier today (25.11.14) to submit proof he's been...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
The Best Laptop Deal in Black Friday 2014
Black Friday 2014 is here and the first Black Friday 2014 Sales are already underway. The full push of Black Friday 2014 deals happens on Thanksgiving Day. So there is still a little time to make your shopping lists. If...
Read more on Black Friday Countdown
 
Cheryl Fernandez-Versini blasts Simon Cowell over weight comments
Cheryl Fernandez-Versini has blasted Simon Cowell for commenting on her weight. The 31-year-old beauty said it was ungentlemanly for a man in his 50s to suggest she'd gained weight prior to her brief appearance on the...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Nick Cannon denies links to Amber Rose
Nick Cannon has denied having any romance with Amber Rose. The 34-year-old entertainer recently separated from Mariah Carey, whom he married in 2008, and has since been romantically linked to Amber Rose, 31, who filed...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
The Best TV Deals on Black Friday
Black Friday is one of the best times to buy TVs. It is the best time to get your hands on bargain TV deals like a $79 32-inch TV or a $119 40-inch TV. You see such deals never during the year. You also do not see such...
Read more on TV Balla