LOS ANGELES – October 13, 2014 – Instead of a fan lottery or some splashy promotion, Volkswagen has partnered with Global Green USA to auction off VW’s first fully-electric vehicle (EV), the 2015 VW e-Golf. VW says the auction, which is hosted online at Charitybuzz.com/vwegolf (bids will be accepted until 3:30 p.m. ET on Oct. 29), “gives bidders the opportunity to be the first owner of the brand’s first all-electric model before retail sales in the United States begin later this year” with the proceeds benefitting Global Green USA (a national non-profit environmental advocacy organization).
The e-Golf is set to go on sale in November. VW’s new EV wonder produces zero tailpipe emissions, has a drive range of between 70-90 miles and starts at just $35,445 (plus $820 destination and delivery charge) for the fully-equipped premium SEL model (includes a 5.8-inch touchscreen navigation “infotainment” center, multi-function leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated front seats, Bluetooth, dual-zone automatic climate control, LED headlamps, Sirius XM satellite radio, rear view camera and park distance control, media inputs among other luxury and advanced technology features).
The 2015 VW e-Golf is equipped with a 24.2 kWh lithium ion battery and a 115 hp electric motor. VW claims it has sold more than 30 million Golf vehicles worldwide, but this is VW’s very first mass production EV to compete against the likes of Nissan’s Leaf, Chevy’s Volt, Ford’s Focus Electric and Fiat’s 500e.
And much like most EVs these days, the 2015 e-Golf comes with its own dedicated mobile app. Called VW Car-Net e-Golf, the app can do the following:
–Remotely adjust vehicle settings via compatible mobile devices as well as the VW Car-Net website
–Start (and stop) the car’s climate control system
–View temperature readings
–Stop, start and set charging time
–Pre-program up to three departure and charging times
–Access data including miles driven, journey time, estimated electric motor power consumption, estimation power consumption of auxiliary components (such as air conditioning and regenerative braking)
–Check status of door and trunk locks, charging cables and GPS location
What About Charging?
The e-Golf has a 7.2 kW onboard charger with standard DC fast charging along with “charging solutions” from Bosch and Chargepoint (including the ChargePoint app) as well as a comprehensive roadside assistance program (towing within 100 miles and a loaner vehicle). The car also comes with VW’s new e-Golf app, which VW says is “designed to make owning the e-Golf a thoroughly reassuring, rewarding and enjoyable experience. Extra peace of mind comes with a best-in-class eight year/100,000 mile battery.”
Speaking of the onboard charger, VW says the e-Golf’s battery can be charged three different ways. A “standard charging cable” can be plugged into any 120-volt electrical socket to a full charge in a whopping 20 hours. However, if e-Golf owners install (by a certified electrician!) a 240-volt outlet, then then VW claims it takes less than four hours to charge completely. The aforementioned 240-volt Bosch “Power Max” charging station will be available at “highly competitive prices” as a full-service installation.
In addition, the 2015 e-Golf comes equipped with a Combined Charging System or CCS. This allows the e-Golf to be plugged into “fast charge” or “super charge” stations. VW claims charging at a fast charge station can bring the battery’s charge from zero to 80 percent in just 30 minutes.
The E-Golf Driving Experience
CDN Auto Columnist, Greg Sanchez, had this to say about his recent driving experience with the e-Golf last month at a VW event:
“As the name implies, the e-Golf ditches the regular Golf’s assortment of gasoline and diesel engines for an electric motor. Developing 115 HP and 199 lb-ft of torque, the e-Golf is the least powerful version of the Volkswagen hatchback, but does make the second most amount of torque in the Golf family. Power is still fed to the front wheels, but now through a single-speed, direct-drive automatic transmission.
The handling, dynamics and the overall performance of this new e-Golf are exceptional. It feels smooth and friendly with one nifty driving feature available in the e-Golf is paddle-shifters (on the steering wheel) to control the level of regenerative braking. Dialing the regen up or down affects how quickly the car slows down without putting your foot on the brake. Slowing down faster—the motor-generator applies a grabbing action—means that more of the braking energy is used to recharge the battery pack. The net result is more range.
The e-Golf is not cheap, the test model was around $35,500.00 though it does come fully loaded in the only available top trim level with leather seats, a large infotainment screen, backup camera, and a premium sound system. It has all the Golf goodies you’d want, minus the combustion engine and traditional transmission. Volkswagen also went to great lengths to ensure that cargo space wasn’t compromised when it installed the 24.2 kWh battery pack, and save for a few aerodynamic body enhancements and the lack of a tailpipe, it looks like any other VW Golf on the road.”
E-Golf Carbon Offsets & Solar Power
Still worried about carbon offsets? And what about using solar power to charge your new 2015 e-Golf EV? Volkswagen seems to have thought about everything a sustainable driver could desire with its carbon offset and solar power programs.
VW says it has teamed up with renewable energy and carbon offset services provider 3Degrees to further bring a super low carbon footprint to the new 2015 e-Golf. “By investing in carbon reduction programs, Volkswagen will help offset the e-Golf’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that result from its production, distribution and from the estimated emissions produced from keeping the vehicle charged through the initial 36,000 miles of the vehicle’s life” says VW. In California and Texas, Volkswagen of America also invested in projects “geared towards forestry conservation and landfill gas capture.”
And what is you want to really go green by powering your e-Golf via the sun’s rays? VW recently announced it is working closely with SunPower to provide “qualified U.S. Volkswagen e-Golf customers the opportunity to install a high performance SunPower solar system.” It seems this is SunPower’s first collaboration with an automotive manufacturer to combine buying an EV and installing solar panels for truly sustainable energy storage.
Are you ready to go all-electric with perhaps the lowest carbon footprint mass production vehicle on the planet today? Volkswagen’s e-Golf is certainly a top contender in features and price to lure EV buyers away from Leaf, Focus Electric, Chevy Volt and Fiat 500e. Are you ready to say goodbye to the dirty petro dollar and go green with VW’s e-Golf?