Auto focus

Sound of silence on the autobahn

Preeti Mehra | Updated on March 09, 2018

Charge info: The LED display flashes the battery status

The updated new VW e-Golf delivers more power and range even as it cruises by quietly

From a distance, the three white Volkswagen Golfs parked at the Hanover airport looked no different from those that zip along on the immaculately laid tarmac on Germany’s autobahns. But a closer look at their front and rear fenders, along with the C-signature LED daytime running lights embedded within the headlamp’s outer edges, and you know that these are the latest from the Volkswagen stable — the updated all-electric e-Golf with new battery technology.

The new e-Golf was officially launched by VW and open for customer orders in Germany from February this year. More powerful and with a higher driving range than its predecessor, the new version of the all-electric model was meant to deliver everyday practicality and a driving style that was as good or better than its fossil fuel cousin. It uses a new lithium-ion battery with an energy capacity that has been bumped up to 35.8 kWh instead of the predecessor’s 24.2 kWh.

The e-Golf’s electric motor now generates 136 PS of power, which is also a 20 PS jump in performance over the predecessor. The car is now said to be capable of doing the 0-100 kmph sprint in 9.6 seconds.

No space compromise

The e-Golf’s cabin is also designed to look nearly identical to the regular fuel model. And it offers the same amount of room and usability too. Enter one of them and you know the difference. Much more spacious in the front and at the rear than any e-car you have seen back in India, the Reva and the E2O to be precise, you can comfortably sink into the seats that warm up at the touch of a button. Here too VW engineers have come up with an innovative solution for countries like Germany where users will need heated cabins during winter. So, you can choose to heat the cabin with the electrical heating unit that draws power directly from the grid while charging or use the optional heat pump during driving. The latter uses ambient air and captures lost heat from electrical power unit components to warm the cabin.

More features that improve the ease behind the wheel include the massive 9.2-inch LED display, which flashes all the information a driver could possibly need — be it the speed, the current battery charge status, the range etc. The large colour touch screen with gesture control also makes navigation child’s play.

But what is even more characteristic of the e-Golf is the insulated silence even when the car picks up speed as it hits the Autobahn, an unrestricted ride for roughly an hour and a half before we reach the town of Wolfsburg — our first destination. Though the new e-Golf has an NEDC-rated range of up to 300 km, we discover that the faster the speed, the lower the range. So, a more realistic on-the-road range for the updated model would ideally be a little over 200 km. But the good news is that the e-Golf now comes with a super charger which can charge up to 80 per cent of battery capacity in just 45 minutes. The driving style and the use of high drain features like air-conditioning also affect driving range.

Electric drive

Based on the same MQB platform as the standard Golf, the car’s batteries are all fitted flat underneath the floor space. The battery pack has 24 cells, each weighing around 12 kg. The whole pack however weighs 350 kg, which includes the junction box, the cell controller, the management system and the insulation. And with this the car packs quite a punch, though the company says that in the future the flat floor space will enable more innovative body designs. But for now, Volkswagen’s new green offering is happily humming along and who knows, may make it to the Indian market before long. Of course, that’s only when some kind of infrastructure for e-vehicles is put in place in the country.

Published on November 02, 2017

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor