Volkswagen joins electric car fray

2014 Volkswagen e-Golf and e-Up (up!)
Volkswagen has entered the electric car race with two production-ready models: the e-Golf and the e-Up.

Volkswagen has entered the electric car race with two production-ready models: the e-Golf and the e-Up.

The two new models use similar drivetrains, with the e-Golf’s basically just an up-scaled version with a more powerful motor and larger batteries. The 113bhp (85kW) electric motor in the Golf should provide a range of 118 miles, while the Up’s system generates 81bhp (60kW) and a 100-mile range.

VW has designed the drivetrains from scratch, producing them entirely in-house to maintain quality control and developmental freedom.

With the news of the electric duo’s arrival, Volkswagen claims that the e-Up sets an efficiency benchmark with 62 miles potentially costing less than £2.60; half what the same mileage would cost even in a very efficiently-driven petrol-powered Up. The same mileage in the e-Golf will cost around 10% more.

The technology involved should be familiar to anyone well acquainted with the Nissan Leaf or any of Renault’s electric Z.E. models, albeit with a rather more complex arrangement of driving modes.

Two principal options labelled Eco and Eco+ join four modes that offer enhanced braking regeneration from the motor: D1, D2, D3 and B. These are designed for use in differing traffic conditions and down hills, where the motor might be used as the main brake to recover as much energy as possible.

Direct current (DC) quick-charging is an option, with 80% of a full charge for the e-Golf coming up in around half an hour, in the same way as for the Leaf.

Prices and on-sale dates will be confirmed at or shortly after the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.