German car giant is serious about electric cars | West Briton
THE German car giant Volkswagen is taking the electric car market seriously with versions of its best-selling petrol cars.
With a range of up to 118 miles and a recharging time that can take just four hours, the Volkswagen e-Golf makes electric power a much more feasible and normal prospect for British motorists. Still fancy that turbodiesel?
If your commute to work is less than 40 miles each way – and let’s face it, most peoples’ are – then this is a model that could work for you.
Turn the key to prime the electric motor and the e-Golf responds with silence. Otherwise there aren’t too many surprises.
In fact, Volkswagen quotes a 0-37mph time of 4.2 seconds, which is quicker than a Golf GTI.
Okay, so the GTI would have disappeared up the road at 60mph, the e-Golf getting there in a still respectable 10.4 seconds. That’s as long as you’ve taken it out of the Eco Plus mode where you’ll get the best fuel consumption.
That mode is capped to 56mph. Switch it into Eco and you get to 71mph while Normal tops out at 87mph. You can also vary the amount of braking energy recuperation you get between four settings.
The e-Golf might not be realistic as an only family car but it could well be a smart solution.
One way or another, electric cars are going to represent the next twenty years or more of motoring.
Are you really going to invest in ordinary outdated internal combustion engine technology for your next car?
Volkswagen now has its bases covered either way.
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The Volkswagen e-Up is an electric version of the understandably popular up city car with a range of around 93 miles. For a first stab at an EV, it’s extremely good.
The company has taken the Up and modified it extremely cleverly to run on electric power – to the extent that this feels like the car’s most natural mode of propulsion.
As well as a standard driving mode, the e-up! has two economy profiles as standard: ‘Eco’ and ‘Eco+’. ‘Eco’ cuts the vehicle’s peak power to 50 kW, reduces the output of the air conditioning system and modifies the throttle response.
‘Eco+’ limits maximum power to 40 kW, further modifies the throttle response and disables the air conditioning.
Volkswagen may have come late to the EV sector, but if the e-Up is anything to go by, it won’t be long before buying a small VW with an internal combustion engine will seem like a very odd thing to do.
Like the look of the Golf GTI but are intrigued by the idea of a plug-in hybrid drive system?
Volkswagen has the answer in the pert form of the Golf GTE which promises some faintly absurd-looking efficiency measures, emitting 35g/km of CO² and managing 188mpg on the NEDC fuel economy tests.
Of course, in the real world, this plug-in hybrid probably won’t quite make those numbers, but with 204PS on tap, it’s got the muscle to back up the sporty styling.
Volkswagen brings to market the truly boutique plug-in hybrid city car in the sleek shape of the XL1, an incredible 313mpg Volkswagen XL1 two-seat coupe that’s powered by a diesel-electric plug-in hybrid powertrain. The world’s most efficient production car also emits just 21g/km