It looks like Volkswagen is making up for lost time on the electric vehicle (EV) development front. The German company known for its clean diesels just announced an electric version of its up! city car, the e-up!, and now it’s releasing details on the e-Golf, an electric version of its worldwide bestseller.
When the all-new seventh generation Golf was unveiled a few months ago, VW noted that it was designed to accommodate an electric powertrain. VW plans to put such a powertrain in a Golf by mid 2014.
Like the e-up!, the e-Golf will most likely be available in both three- and five-door body styles, and will probably look the same as a gasoline or diesel Golf. Buyers looking take a statement with their EVs should consider the Nissan Leaf or Ford Focus Electric.
The e-Golf will also reportedly share its layout with the e-up!. The large and small VW EVs will have their electric motors in their engine bays and lithium-ion battery packs under their rear seats.
The e-Golf’s electric motor will produce around 115 horsepower, but it won’t add much weight compared to the smaller e-up!’s powertrain. The e-Golf’s entire powertrain will weigh about 440 pounds; the e-up! has 82 hp, and its powertrain weighs 400 lbs.
The e-Golf’s range is estimated at 170 miles, allowing it to travel 90 miles further on a single charge than a Leaf. Top speed is an adequate 83 mph. It is unclear whether the e-Golf will have the impressively low charging times VW is promising for the e-up!.
Mid-2014 is a long way away, but Volkswagne CEO Martin Winterkorn quoted an unofficial price of 40,000 euros to AutoBild.
Unlike the smaller e-up!, which will be launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, the e-Golf has a chance of being sold in the United States.
The conventional up! will probably never come to the U.S., but Volkswagen sells plenty of Golfs here, making it less of a hassle to bring the e-Golf into compliance with safety regulations.
However, Volkswagen isn’t talking about e-Golf sales just yet, and there is also a possibility that the EV would be brought over in small batches only, to satisfy California’s zero emission vehicle mandate.