The electric hatchback market is America is about to get more confusing as Volkswagen announced the launch of an electric version of the Golf for U.S. at this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show. The Volkswagen e-Golf will have to take on the like of Nissan LEAF, Ford Focus EV, and Fiat 500e.
The thing is, choosing between these cars comes down to styling, practicality, and the badge. Technically, they are all pretty much the same, offering the same sort of range, performance, and inconvenience when they run out of juice.
The production Volkswagen e-Golf, the first zero-emission version of the car after 30 million units sold worldwide, is powered by a 115-horsepower electric motor with 199 lb/ft of torque. It goes from 0 to 60 mph in approximately 10.4 seconds, and the top speed is electronically limited to 87 mph. As for the range, it is between 70 and 90 miles.
In other words you wait four hours for the e-Golf to be charged, but you can’t even travel 100 miles with it. It just doesn’t make sense. Using a Combined Charging System (CCS) the battery can be charged to 80 percent of its capacity in 30 minutes, but still, what the hell is the point if it’s empty again in less than 100 miles.
It’s just madness, this. And it makes VW’s offer of driving modes – three driving profiles designed to preserve energy (‘Normal’, ‘Eco’, and ‘Eco+’); and three different levels of regenerative braking (‘D1’, ‘D2’, and ‘D3’/‘B’) – sound utterly ridiculous.
If you absolutely have to go electric right now, our advice is to get the Fiat 500e, because when it does eventually run out of juice, you can at least admire its cute looks while waiting for help. The Golf doesn’t even look interesting.