Volkswagen leverages new battery technology to ease electric vehicle range anxiety

2015 Volkswagen E-Golf
Range anxiety remains one of the main reasons why motorists are hesitant to adopt electrification. In a bid to quell it, Volkswagen will give the all-electric version of the Golf a bigger battery pack before the end of the year.

The e-Golf will soon receive a 35.8-kilowatt-hour battery, the Wolfsburg, Germany-based car-maker confirmed on the sidelines of a Formula E race in Berlin. In comparison, the current e-Golf (pictured) uses a 24.2-kWh pack. The new battery pack is bigger than the one found in the BMW i3, in the Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive, and in the Nissan Leaf.

Being able to store more electricity will allow the Golf to drive for up to 186 miles on a single charge, a considerable improvement over the 90 miles achieved by the current model. It will be complemented by a new electric motor programmed to deliver 160 horsepower, which is enough grunt to send the Golf from zero to 60 mph in less than 10 seconds.

Volkswagen has chosen not to upgrade the Golf with a faster three-phase charger for cost reasons, however.

“We have to draw the line somewhere,” explained Volkmar Tanneberger, Volkswagen’s executive director of electrics and electronics development, in an interview with Electrive.

German media outlets report that Volkswagen will begin delivering the updated e-Golf later this year. If their sources are accurate, we’ll likely see the EV in the metal for the first time in September during the Paris Auto Show. It won’t be the only new model on the Volkswagen stand, because the entire Golf lineup is expected to receive a midcycle face-lift that will bring with it an array of modifications including a new look, a revamped interior, and more tech features.

Read more: Volkswagen might build an 80-mpg hybrid hatchback to take on the Prius

In the United States, Volkswagen’s improved e-Golf will arrive as a 2017 model. It’s important to note that the 186-mile figure reflects how far the compact will be able to drive on a European cycle, which is far less stringent than an American test cycle. Consequently, its EPA-rated range might lie in the vicinity of 125 miles.

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