On its way for the fourth quarter of 2014, the 2015 e-Golf will be Volkswagen’s first fully electric vehicle for the U.S.
Volkswagen stated this all-new model is part of a structured powertrain strategy that will lead to the introduction of new and highly efficient drive systems, and is part of Volkswagen’s holistic approach to sustainability called Think Blue. Volkswagen has also stated that it aims to be the world leader in e-mobility among automakers by 2018.
Although Volkswagen has sold more than 30 million Golf models worldwide, this is the first Golf sold that produces zero tailpipe emissions and operates fully on electric power.
Volkswagen added the e-Golf is available in four-door form only and is immediately recognizable by its unique aluminum-alloy wheels and LED headlights, the first VW to be equipped with the technology in the U.S.-market.
The LED headlights are more energy-efficient than Bi-Xenon systems, yet produce more light, said VW.
The e-Golf is powered by a 115 horsepower electric motor developing 199 pound-feet of torque, allowing the e-Golf to reach 25 mph from rest in 4.2 seconds and to get to 60 mph in approximately 10 seconds, per the German carmaker. Top speed is electronically limited to 87 mph.
VE added the motor and transmission were developed in-house and are made at Volkswagen’s components plant in Kassel, Germany.
Depending on driving style and charging behavior, VW estimates the average real world range for the e-Golf is between 70 and 90 miles, while maximum range is approximately 115 miles.
The seventh generation of the Golf was developed from the start to be offered as an EV. Volkswagen integrated the lithium-ion battery in a space-saving frame in the vehicle floor, under the front and rear seats and in the center tunnel. Like the electric motor and the transmission, the battery pack was also developed in-house at Volkswagen and is made at the company’s facility in Braunschweig, Germany. Volkswagen added it partnered with Panasonic to develop the battery chemistry for the lithium-ion cells used in the battery.
VW explained the lithium-ion battery accounts for 701 pounds of the e-Golf model’s 3,090-pound curb weight. It is composed of a total of 264 individual prismatic cells, which are integrated into 27 modules (each with six or twelve cells). Collectively, the cells have a nominal rating of 323 volts, with an overall capacity of 24.2 kilowatt-hour.
The German carmaker explained there are several different ways of charging the e-Golf’s battery, via the car’s standard 7.2 kilowatt onboard charger. The optimal solution is the available 240-volt wallbox for a garage or carport: this charges at 7.2 kilowatt, enabling a completely flat battery to be fully charged in less than four hours. If a 220/240-volt connection is not available, the most cost-effective and easiest alternative is to plug the standard charging cable into a 110/120-volt electrical socket, which will take around 20 hours to charge the battery.
The standard Combined Charging System (CCS) plug gives the e-Golf the capability to also take advantage of DC fast charging infrastructure, added VW. In this case the car can be recharged at CCS-equipped DC fast charge stations at levels of up to 40 kilowatt, allowing the battery to be charged to 80 percent in around 30 minutes. For added flexibility, the charging process can be activated—immediately or programmed for later—by pressing a button next to the charging socket under the “fuel cap” or through an available iPhone or Android app.
Volkswagen explained it took very specific measures to lower the e-Golf model’s coefficient of drag (Cd) to 0.28. Among these were: reducing the volume of cooling air via a radiator shutter and partially enclosed radiator grille; new underbody paneling; a rear spoiler and C-pillar air vanes to better manage airflow at the tail of the car; and cleaning up the airflow around the wheels, largely by ensuring they are flush with the wheel arches.
While the regular, gas-powered 2015 Golf will start at $17,995, VW will only reveal the price of the e-Golf closer to commercialization.