Welcome on board of the electric Golf. This is quite special, the car looks very normal… …but it is very different. It has no emissions. It’s fully electric. Today we’re going test how that drives. And we’re going to talk about if electric driving is production ready… …for who it is or if it’ll still take a while before it’s ready. I don’t know. It’s always funny to drive an electric car. On the one hand it’s business as usual… …this is just a regular Golf with a different engine, an electric one with a load of batteries. And on the other, the way the electric engine drives the car is entirely different. The torque is instantly available… …it brakes on the engine much more when you lift off. It’s quite special. The rev counter is now a kilowatt meter. So when I hit the throttle, you see that it goes up and that we speed up. And when I brake, it regenerates. Let’s talk numbers of a moment. The electric engine peaks at 115 hp. That’s not earth shattering… …it does have 270 Nm of torque though. That’s about as much as a Golf GTI has……and you do feel that sometimes when accelerating. The unusual thing about its power is that that 115 hp is really its peak power. It can only deliver 69 hp continuously. That’s not that much, it is a green car after all. That means its top speed is just 84 mph… …69 hp won’t get you that far. I’m a bit lazy today, I let others do the work. We’re going on the highway… …and this car isn’t great there because it’s not that fast… …and its range it limited. One charge will get you 94 miles at best… …but that really depends on how you drive it.Volkswagen has, just like all other manufacturers… …who make electric or hybrid vehicles, built in a range of technologies to help you. You can put the car in different settings. The Comfort+ setting gives you full aircon and full power from the engine… …so you can drive without any worries. When you switch to Range+ mode the aircon is turned off… …and the engine power is limited so you can drive further on one charge. Your right foot plays a big part in all this. Besides that, it drives just like a Golf. But it’s based on a BlueMotion so it’s fitted with eco tires. It’s a bit wet today so it slides a bit quicker. So it’s not competing with the Golf R… …but it is reasonably normal. Even though it’s 200 kg (440 lbs.) heavier than a Golf TDI with DGS transmission.But they mounted all that
weight low down so the center of gravity is very low. It should also be just as safe when having a crash. Of course, we can’t test that today, not voluntarily anyway… …but let’s assume they’re telling the truth. It’s planned to be released in 2013 or 2014… …so it’s still a thing of the future. VW hope that they can double the range by then. And that’s possible because at the moment the battery pack has about 26.5 kWh… …but they only use 18 because discharging a battery fully, shortens it lifespan… …and possibly makes you run into other problems. That’s why they’re already testing electric cars.How does the charging work… …and how can you teach consumers to work with an electric car? Take a guess at how much a car like this will cost right now. VW isn’t releasing anything yet. But there are people who converted a Golf themselves… …and that cost 115 grand. That’s 3 times as expensive as a regular Golf. VW has said about the batteries… …that ideally they should decrease in price tenfold… …combined with a longer range and better charging capabilities. Only then can we expect to see electric vehicles for everyday use.But that’ll take a while. .