With a 24.2 kWh lithium-ion battery and 115 horsepower electric motor, the Volkswagen E-Golf promises to be simple to use, easy to maintain, cheap to own with everyday usability. A 7.2 kW onboard charger comes standard. The Volkswagen E-Golf will make its North American debut at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show.
VW promises that the Volkswagen E-Golf will be as fun to drive as a regular Golf – sans tailpipe. Lightweight aluminum wheels, LED headlights/taillights and special badges set the Volkswagen E-Golf apart from regular Golfs. For the most part, the Volkswagen E-Golf will be fairly indistinguishable from a regular Golf at a distance. The Volkswagen E-Golf will come outfitted solely as a five-door hatch.
The Volkswagen E-Golf’s motivator and charging apparatus are the real story.
“The e-Golf is powered by a 115-horsepower electric motor. From a standing start the EEM-85 synchronous permanent-magnet AC motor develops an impressive 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 10.4 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 87 mph.
The high-performance 12,000-rpm motor and the single-speed EQ270 transmission form a compact unit: the EQ270 also incorporates an integrated differential and an electro-mechanical parking brake. The motor and transmission was developed in-house and is made at Volkswagen’s components plant in Kassel, Germany.” – – Volkswagen Media
Range is about the same for most electric vehicles in this class. What sets the Volkswagen E-Golf apart is its up to date heating and cooling of both the battery and passenger cabin. Cold weather range (a foe to most electric vehicles) has been enhanced through the use of a new heat pump.
“Depending on driving style and charging behavior, the average range for the e-Golf is between 70 and 90 miles. Helping ensure optimal range in cold weather is a newly developed heat pump that is part of the e-Golf’s comprehensive list of standard equipment. The pump uses both ambient air and heat from the drive system components to heat the cabin rather than relying solely on the high-voltage heater, helping to reduce on-board electrical consumption significantly, especially in winter driving.
Lithium-ion battery. The Golf A7 was developed from the outset to be a Battery Electric Vehicle. As the Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) architecture that underpins the new Golf A7 is so flexible, Volkswagen was able to integrate 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 was also developed in-house at Volkswagen and is made at the company’s facility in Braunschweig, Germany.
The liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery accounts for 701 pounds of the e-Golf model’s 3090-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 kWh. A battery management controller (BMC) performs diagnosis and monitoring functions and also regulates the temperature balance in the battery junction controller (the interface to the motor’s energy supply). When the car is not in use or in the event of a collision, power from the battery is automatically cut off.
A central element of the drive system is the power electronics module. This controls the flow of high-voltage energy between the electric motor and the lithium-ion battery, depending on the battery voltage, which runs between 250 and 430 volts. During the process the power electronics module converts the direct current (DC) stored in the battery into alternating current (AC). The power electronics therefore have the following interfaces: the traction circuit connection to the battery; the three-phase connection to the electric motor; the plug connection from the DC/DC converter to the 12-volt power circuit; and a connection for the high-voltage power distributor.”
Charging is fairly straightforward, with the addition of the 7.2 kW on-board charger. The Volkswagen E-Golf can go from a dead battery to a fully charged one in less than four hours – provided it’s hooked up to a 220-volt wall-box charger. A fast charger will give you up to 80-percent in about 30 minutes.
“There are several different ways of charging the e-Golf’s battery, via the car’s standard 7.2 kW onboard charger. The most optimal solution is the available 220-volt wallbox for a garage or carport: this charges at 7.2 kW, enabling a completely flat battery to be fully charged in less than four hours. If a 220-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. In this case the car can be recharged at CCS-equipped DC fast charge stations at levels of up to 40 kW, 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.
The Volkswagen E-Golf will go on sale in the U.S. in select states in the fourth quarter of 2014.” – – Volkswagen Media
No word on pricing, but I suspect it will be competitive with the Nissan Leaf.
Check out this fun video of the Tesla Model-S being (re) tested by Roman!
One final note:
Volkswagen intends to make the e-Golf ownership experience as seamless as possible. This includes offering a Roadside Assistance Plan that’s designed to take the anxiety out of “range anxiety”. For instance, if the customer runs out of charge and is within 100 miles of their home, Volkswagen’s Roadside Assistance provider will deliver the car to a nearby and convenient source for charging and will even pay for the customer to take a taxi home or to work if they decide not to travel with the car. The plan covers unlimited events.