Would you pay twice as much for your vehicle, initially, to go electric?
Volkswagen just announced pricing for its 2015 e-Golf, and at $36,265 it’s in a completely different pricing league than the base 2015 Volkswagen Golf, which costs as little as $18,815.
Of course, you should keep in mind that a federal tax credit of $7,500 will apply to the e-Golf, lowering its effective price (provided you qualify for the credit) to $28,765. Additional federal or state money could reduce that amount even further. And in lieu of getting that credit yourself, Volkswagen could be offering some attractive lease deals.
That two-door Golf Launch Edition isn’t just a stripped-down price leader, either; it does include the 170-horsepower 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, power accessories, air conditioning, Bluetooth, and a touch-screen audio system with satellite radio and iPod integration.
e-Golf only arrives loaded with features—and a premium price
The e-Golf, on the other hand, is loaded, in creme de la creme SEL Premium guise, including 16-inch alloy wheels, LED dynamic headlamps (the first of VW’s lineup to get LED headlamps standard), automatic dual-zone climate control, cruise control, VW Car-Net connected services, front and rear Park Distance Control, a heated windshield, heated mirrors, and heated washer nozzles, among many other features.
Fast-charge capability is also included in all U.S. e-Golf models. That allows this model to be charged to 80 percent in less than a half an hour. VW hasn’t yet revealed an official EPA driving range for this model, but since its battery capacity, of 24.2 kWh, is about the same as that of the Nissan Leaf, we expect the official numbers to land around 80 miles or higher.
Perhaps more appropriately, the e-Golf needs to be matched up against the Nissan Leaf, as well as the Ford Focus and the upcoming Kia Soul EV. This is, of course, a question that Ford has been asking already with its Focus Electric—a model that has been a relatively slow seller, although arguably one that has been given short shrift in marketing and promotion under Ford’s Energi plug-in-hybrid models.
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All the Golf versatility and packaging goodness preservedThe e-Golf has one big advantage over the Focus Electric, too: Its cargo floor is largely unaffected by the battery, as VW’s modular transverse matrix (MQB) platform was conceived from the start to allow a place for battery packs underneath.
This model might stand only in niche appeal next to the brand's especially strong, attractively priced Golf TDI models; but the e-Golf shows promise against those other all-electric hatchbacks. We’ve already driven the 2015 Volkswagen e-Golf and found it to be considerably more refined, quiet, and comfortable than some other electric models on the market. We expect to get some extended time with one later this fall.
VW says that the e-Golf will go on sale “in participating dealerships in select states”—meaning that it won’t be available everywhere, like the Leaf. If your dealership is among those participating, expect the e-Golf to start arriving in November.