With the e-Golf due to go on sale during the fourth quarter of this year, we’re starting to get a better idea of Volkswagen’s plans for the car in the US.
We covered the e-Golf in some detail during its launch in Berlin and were impressed by the entire package. Superb ergonomics and intuitive controls are complemented by a sharp design and hugely refined road manners. If Volkswagen get the pricing right the e-Golf will cause problems for the other premium automakers bringing electric cars to market.
But what is Volkswagen offering buyers in addition to an excellent electric car?
While BMW i3 owners have the option of a short-term lease of one of the company’s standard models for longer journeys, Volkswagen will wait until you’re actually in trouble before stepping in to help.
As part of the ‘Roadside Assistance Plan’, Volkswagen will collect a customer (and their car) if they run out of charge within 100 miles of home and deliver them to a convenient charging station. If can’t be bothered to wait for your car to charge that’s fine, too, because Volkswagen will also pay for your taxi either back home or to work. It’s a staggeringly generous offer, but if that’s what the company feels is required to get people into its cars then we won’t complain. If you’re more than 100 miles from home, then tough luck.
Owners of the e-Golf will also have access to the “VW Car-Net e-Remote” app. Despite the cumbersome name, the app is undeniably useful. The car’s climate control can be remotely set in advance, and charging can be started and stopped on the go. The app can also display figures for charge level and remaining range.
The app will allow neurotic drivers to see where there car is parked, too, via GPS, as well as whether the doors and trunk are locked, the lights are on, and whether the charging cable is plugged in.
All e-Golf’s will come in SEL Premium trim at launch. That’s means plenty comes as standard, including Volkswagen’s slightly old-fashioned but slick touchscreen navigation system and keyless entry and go. Heated seats (crucial for electric cars), a reversing camera, and satellite radio are also standard.
Volkswagen is set to confirm which states the e-Golf will be available in or the sticker price, but a spokesman recently told ecomento.com that California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachussetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont were likely to get the new car first. A price tag of between $30,000 and $35,000 is anticipated.
The e-Golf is a hugely significant car not only for Volkswagen, as its first electric car in the US, but also for the entire Volkswagen Group. The German automaker won’t reveal sales targets for the electric hatch, but has admitted that it has the potential to bring average carbon dioxide emissions into line with regulations for the Group and its many brands. For this reason it’s likely that the e-Golf will quickly become available across the US.
While we regard the e-Golf as a compelling electric car, stiff competition will comes from the new Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive and BMW i3.
Don’t forget to read our review of the 2015 Volkswagen e-Golf below.