Date:1 February 2011
The parade of electric cars started by the Nissan Leaf continues to gain entrants. In roughly three years, VW will offer an electric version of the Golf.
We took a drive in an early prototype that appeared more complete than the usual engineering mule. The 26,4-kWh lithium-ion battery pack is made of 180 cells, which are distributed in three places around the car: under the boot floor, under the rear seats and in a central under-floor tunnel. Climb in and you’d struggle to see any difference between this interior and that of the standard Golf. In place of the standard tachometer and fuel gauge, VW has brilliantly changed its analogue instruments to show power consumption in kilowatts and the charge left in the battery pack. Like all electric cars, in which peak torque is available from 0 revs, the Golf is quick away from the lights. Even with three adults on board, the 85-kW motor felt strong and responsive up to about 80 km/h – that’s when the acceleration started to tail off. VW estimates the range will be about 140 km, which should be plenty for daily use.
By Andrew Engli