back to article Stalwart hatchback gets a plug-in: Volkswagen e-Golf

Of all the electric cars I've driven, the latest eco-friendly VW Golf is the one that feels most like a normal auto – that just so happens to be silent and has a stack of batteries where the spare wheel would go. Volkswagen e-Golf Goodbye GTI, hello Volkswagen e-Golf While the vast majority of electric cars make a feature …

  1. JDX Gold badge

    Nice apart from the range

    Are e-cars getting shorter ranges rather than longer these days? It almost seems that way, akin to modern smartphones. I mean sure you buy this for nipping around but it's not a tiny city-car and £30k just to nip to Tesco is rather a lot.

    With such a short range, even short trips are surely a problem because it takes so long to charge up... "sorry I can't come out tonight, I went to the bank AND the post office already"?!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nice apart from the range

      "Are e-cars getting shorter ranges rather than longer these days?"

      Almost certainly. On a G-Wiz, which is essentially a wendy house on bike wheels, all of the battery capacity went to traction. On this Golf, you can see there's a pretty fitted satnav and aircon, if there's an option of heated windscreen (itself a monster energy hog) I would reason there's semi-respectable audio, electric windows, central locking, and it looks in the photos like it has the full suite of airbags and sensors. So well done VW for that bit. I really like the idea of an EV that isn't a hair shirt experience, is comfortable, well equipped and doesn't run on solid tyres...

      ...but the worrying comments about range suggest that the answer to the question "are we there yet?" remains a firm no. I would have thought that fast swappable batteries and 250 mile range would have made all the difference, but sadly the budget that might have achieved that was spent making the under-bonnet look as though there's a combustion engine in it.

  2. John Robson Silver badge

    How long is the battery warranty

    Was 100k miles too hard to guarantee - 99,360 miles is all we can offer, those extra 640 miles really do the damage...

    1. Chris Miller

      Re: How long is the battery warranty

      I imagine the guarantee is for 160,000 km. Someone has taken that number and turned it into miles using 1.61 km = 1 mile, rounded it down to get 99,360 and then someone else has converted it back to km using the exact factor of 1.609344.

      The batteries have an eight-year or 99,360 mile (159,904km) guarantee.

    2. James Micallef Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: How long is the battery warranty

      "99,360 mile (159,904km) guarantee"

      Smells of conversion using an approximation followed by reconversion with an exact ratio

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How long is the battery warranty

        "Smells of conversion using an approximation followed by reconversion with an exact ratio"

        Or smells of a clattering noise as the battery falls out the bottom of the car at 99,360 miles...

        More seriously, what is the detail of the warranty? Most rechargeable batteries go off over time, so presumably what's being guaranteed is some percentage of the original range. With such a low starting range, and the need for a few miles contingency at all times if you're getting even 80% of the original range, then you're not going to be driving much in the countryside. Incidentally, the warranty is a bit of a crap deal - rather than having them promise me what amounts to a 95 miles range (after contingency) in five years time, I'd rather have (a) swappable batteries in some standard format, and (b) electrical control gear capable of managing a range of likely voltages and capacities, thus enabling a replacement of the batteries with something better in a few years time if better technologies become available.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We are all going to love...

    ...it when the driver engages the regenerative braking and the stop lights come on every time the "throttle" is released. Still, it should stop tailgating :-)

    1. Arnold Lieberman
      Stop

      Re: We are all going to love...

      Every electric Golf will end up with a collection of five-ring dents on the boot.

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: We are all going to love...

        If you're referring to Audi, that'd be four rings. Or would every E-Golf be tailgated by the International Olympic Committee?

        1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

          Re: We are all going to love...

          If you're referring to Audi, that'd be four rings. Or would every E-Golf be tailgated by the International Olympic Committee?

          If you get Olympic-ring dents in the back of your car, it's only a matter of time before the IOC sends round the trade-mark enforcers to nail your head to the floor.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: We are all going to love...

          Audis are typically driven so fast that during a collision an extra ring emerges from quantum vacuum fluctuations. I'm not quite sure which new branch of quantum mechanics this falls under, there seems to be a new one every week at the moment.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: We are all going to love...

      I think VW has a good idea in offering a varying regen modes and having the lights come on in the aggressive modes.

      I have a Volt (ex-pat in the USA) and believe me when I say that if you put it in Low the regen braking is aggressive. It allows for one-pedal driving but given typical driving behavior having the brake lights come on when you lift off fully could be helpful at times. One US Volt driver even got ticketed while driving in Low because his brake lights weren't coming on.

    3. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: We are all going to love...

      "...it when the driver engages the regenerative braking and the stop lights come on every time the "throttle" is released. Still, it should stop tailgating :-)"

      Tesla lights do this as well (on the S, not the roadster) since to slow down that hard on a normal car you'd have to hit the brakes. At a measured 40kW of regen braking it's actually quite significant. It's a good idea to have the brake lights come on when you start slowing down fast, whether you're heating up bits of disposable material or refilling the "tank" whilst you do it.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: We are all going to love...

      When I learnt to drive, I was taught to downshift to reduce speed. This doesn't activate the brake lights either but does cause a fairly dramatic reduction in speed. As I drive a fairly battered Defender this does indeed discourage tailgaters.

      However the best vehicle for discouraging tailgaters I've ever owned was an ex-Army FFR Series III Lightweight Land Rover, complete with switch for (sadly disconnected) infra-red headlights. This switch was under a safety cover. There was a good reason for this; the army had reasoned that if you were in a position where you needed IR headlights, you probably didn't want any other light giving the vehicle's position away so switching from normal to IR killed every light on the vehicle. So if I found myself on a winding road with a muppet in a corporate BMW (which it tended to be before Audi became trendy) sitting 6 inches off the tow hook I have been known to flick the switch to IR and apply the brakes just hard enough to take 10mph off. Funnily enough they always used to keep their distance after that....

  4. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    No spare wheel?

    What happens when you get a puncture then?

    Perhaps it is another £500 for run-flay tyres?

    As with other posters, the range is abysmal. not enough to allow me to visit the In-laws. Oh Wait... maybe it does have an advantage after all.

    1. Tom_

      Re: No spare wheel?

      Not having a spare wheel is getting more and more common, especially in cars a bit smaller than the Golf. Mine comes with a tube of crap to squirt into the wheel and breakdown assisstance. When I got a flat tyre, I realised the tube of crap said it was guaranteed to get the car 100 metres. The guy who turned up from the AA used a bigger tube of crap and told me I could drive home on it (3 miles), but that I should then call out a roving tyre replacement company to replace the tyre.

      So I was an hour late home one evening and had to get up an hour early the next morning. That's a trade off against changing to a spare wheel (15 minutes for an amateur?) and then still having to get the tyre replaced on the proper wheel.

      Not sure it's much different in the end.

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: Not sure it's much different in the end.

        Guess it depends on whether you're 3 miles from home or 300. (If your car isn't electric, obviously.)

      2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: No spare wheel?

        changing to a spare wheel (15 minutes for an amateur?)

        I wish. The last two times I had to change a tire, I couldn't get the damn alloy wheel free from the steel hub. Even tried the "drive it a little with the lug nuts loose" trick. And I didn't have a mallet or similar handy in the car. And the first time it was pouring rain, the second time snowing - and both times at night, of course.

        The first time I just finally ended up calling for a tow. The second time, I called AAA, and when the tow truck driver arrived, borrowed a block to knock the wheel loose. Then we put the spare on and he went on his way. But the whole process took well over an hour.

    2. Terry Barnes

      Re: No spare wheel?

      I'd imagine exactly the same as with the many modern cars that come without a spare - a can of squirty puncture fix stuff to get you to the nearest tyre repair place.

      1. FlatSpot
        Angel

        Re: No spare wheel?

        Is a POI tyre repair layer provided on the SatNav for this purpose or do you need to prepare a map before you drive off?

        1. MrT

          Even skinny spares are a problem...

          Picked up a sharp in the NSF some time during flood-dodging in Hampshire in Feb this year, but didn't realise it until I'd joined the A34 about 5 miles up from Winchester. Resulting blowout and shower of sidewall rubber (tyre face had separated completely from both walls) put me in pickle because the skinny was only rated at 50mph for 50 miles, and I had 250 or so to do that day.

          Green Flag came out to check the braking etc hadn't been damaged so it was safe to continue to a tyre fitter that had winter rubber in stock, which they contacted and arranged so it was only about 90 minutes delay.

          Luckily the alloy only had one small ding in the outer rim and was serviceable with the new rubber (and hasn't leaked since), because I'd have been in a fix if the wheel needed replacing as well - not many tyre fitters carry wheels for any and all makes of vehicle.

          That's not to say I haven't had punctures before - one time on a narrow country back road something in the hedge bottom ripped a sidewall out - but in all other times I've had a full-size spare to continue on without restrictions. MrsT's current vehicle is spare-less and I'd be looking at a no-spare recovery instead of wasting time with the tyre-wrecking gloop.

          1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

            Re: Even skinny spares are a problem...

            I still prefer a spare (Full size as current odd size spare makes roundabouts rather more interesting). I've had to grab my car from a car park at around 8 o clock to realise I had a puncture, being 50 miles from home I checked and was unable to find anyone still open. Although my speed was reduced it got me home and I could just drive to a tyre shop the next morning.

            1. VinceH

              Re: Even skinny spares are a problem...

              "I still prefer a spare"

              Ditto. I occasionally go to some rather out of the way places, and a tin of gunk with a range as short as suggested above wouldn't get me far enough to be somewhere with a phone signal so I could call the RAC with their better quality gunk (which would still not be enough to get me home).

              "(Full size as current odd size spare makes roundabouts rather more interesting)."

              I assume by odd size you mean a so-called "space saver" wheel. Strange things. They're smaller, so they take up less space in the boot - but if you have to change to one, and your boot is full, you don't have room for the full sized one you've taken off.

              1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

                Re: Even skinny spares are a problem...

                "I assume by odd size you mean a so-called "space saver" wheel"

                Yes for some reason I couldn't recall what they were called, my wheel with tyre actually do fit in the hole, but the width means there is a bump in the floor.

                "Not many of us carry a spare vehicle battery."

                Good point but I tend to replace batteries on my car as soon as I'm aware they are on the way out, so far I've never had a flat battery (Although I have probably doomed myself to a flat battery now I have said that)

              2. Spiracle

                Re: Even skinny spares are a problem...

                if you have to change to one, and your boot is full, you don't have room for the full sized one you've taken off.

                You could put it on your lap, but that has its dangers.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Even skinny spares are a problem...

            Driving on our tractor-laden roads my wife has had three punctures in the last 10 years. For the third one, she was in one of our mobile-phone-reception free areas and had a goo pump. Problem? Tyre came off rim. Long walk, the the recovery company didn't know where the car was. I had to rescue her.

            Fortunately a full spare wheel kit was available. I bought it the next day.

    3. Stoneshop Silver badge

      Re: No spare wheel?

      What happens when you get a puncture then?

      <mode="Captain Obvious">You get a flat. </mode>

      When was the last time you had a puncture? Mine was eight years ago. On a motorcycle. The one before that was also on a motorcycle. And the one before that too. Note that motorcycles aren't known for their spare-tyre-carrying-capability. So that's carrying a can of gunk (which are usually shit) and a tyre pump, or a phone to call roadside assistance with. Who tend to start with a can of gunk too, only a somewhat better grade of gunk, but they also have a compressor to top up the tyre after the gunk has done its job. These options are equally available to the spare-wheel-less car driver.

      1. James Micallef Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: No spare wheel?

        "When was the last time you had a puncture? "

        Unfortunately, less than a year ago when, in the middle of an election campaign where a local right-wing party was stirring up a lot of xenophobia, I found one of my car's tires stabbed. Another foreign-registered car in th eopposite bay had met a similair fate.

        Unfortunately a can of gunk stands no chance of fixing an inch-wide tear.

      2. Chloe Cresswell

        Re: No spare wheel?

        Had 4 in the past 3 weeks, 2 on each car.

        2 from pothole on one.

        Screw in the other 2 when turning around. Lost pressure though the 3mm hole on the drive axle, at 1900. No chance of a replacement till the morning, Limped to garage next morning on space saver.. when replacing the front they found a screw in the rear too.

        Driving on the space saver for almost 70 miles (home and to the garage) was nerve wracking. Can of gunk would have been RAC and a wheels off the ground tow :(

        I have the parts to convert my mondeo to a full sized spare, and I really need to get that installed.

        And the worse I've had? Abandoned masonry bit in main road, went though the tyre and a steel rim, wrote the lot off, can of gunk wouldn't have helped there, not with a 7mm hole in the rim.. luckerly that car had a spare...

      3. Don Dumb
        Stop

        Re: No spare wheel?

        @Stoneshop - When was the last time you had a puncture? Mine was eight years ago.

        This year, on the motorway, with less than 200 miles on a new car. Little can of glue and a pump were sod all help with a blow out. Was a Sunday afternoon so had to get a recovery van take us the 60 miles home, then another recovery van the next morning to take me to the dealership so they could replace the tyre. By the time the recovery truck had turned up we could have changed the wheel and got home on a cold winter's day.

        This winter in the UK there seemed to have been a lot of tyre failures, the product of a very wet winter roughing the road up I suspect.

        I've learned my lesson the hard way - a spare wheel (doesn't matter if it is a space saver) is essential.

      4. Vinyl-Junkie

        Re: No spare wheel?

        In the last 10 years I have had four car punctures (one at motorway speed), and at least six motorcycle punctures that I can remember. No fewer than four of these have been caused by the t-shaped parts of tie-down ratchets that litter the roads anywhere that artics go with any frequency, and the rest, with one exception, by similar sharp objects left (as councils no longer sweep the roads the debris builds up and then gets blown all across/along the road when a good storm comes along) to get worn down on the road until they have a nice edge/point. The one exception was self-inflicted, as I took a glancing blow off a kerb at speed, misjudging the line on an exit ramp.

    4. AndrueC Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: No spare wheel?

      What happens when you get a puncture then?

      I suppose you use a canister of foam they provide. My Jazz has that although there at least a spare is an option. Still - in over 25 years of motoring I've never had a puncture and the only times I've had to inflate a tyre was when I (a lot younger) clipped a curb and let some air out and when a valve developed a fault. In the latter case it was a very slow leak so I just had to top it up once or twice a week until I had the time to get it replaced.

      I'm not saying a spare tyre isn't nice to have - but I don't think it's essential equipment that some would claim.

      But yeah, the range is the killer for me. I'm surprised it's that bad. I love the different regeneration options on lifting off though. I'd hate to drive a car without any 'engine' braking.

      1. James Micallef Silver badge

        Re: No spare wheel?

        "What happens when you get a puncture then?

        I suppose you use a canister of foam they provide"

        Simple question from an ignorant layman... if teh hole is small enough to be sealed by teh foam spray, how do you find it? If the hole is big enough to be easily spotted, foam spray won't work.

        1. evs

          Re: No spare wheel?

          The spray goes inside the tire so it will find the hole by itself. If everything goes as planned the foam will seal the leak and the propellant will inflate the tire enough to get to the nearest gas station (where you should add more air).

          1. Don Dumb
            Facepalm

            Re: No spare wheel?

            @evs - The spray goes inside the tire so it will find the hole by itself. If everything goes as planned the foam will seal the leak - [Emphasis mine]

            Unfortunately the plan assumes wonderful roads and fantastic tyres. As soon as the puncture has started to cause the tyre wall to bulge (as happened to me), a blowout is inevitable. And if the puncture is slow enough you won't notice for a while (blowout).

            The foam is good for sealing a point puncture or a thin tear if you notice it early enough and can then easily find and stop at a tyre replacement centre soon after applying the foam. However, if your tyre fails (blowout, large tear, several punctures) then the foam is useless.

            Even if you can successfully treat the puncture with foam, it is only worth it if you can get to somewhere that can replace tyres without having to travel too far, which if you are on the motorway, or travelling late at night is unlikely.

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

    5. Tim99 Silver badge

      Re: No spare wheel?

      Apparently, you are more than twice as likely to be stranded with a flat battery than a puncture. Not many of us carry a spare vehicle battery.

      1. VinceH

        Re: No spare wheel?

        "Not many of us carry a spare vehicle battery."

        I carry a portable starter.

        As well as food and water, etc., just in case.

        Like I said, I occasionally (by choice) head for out of the way places - the fewer people, and cell towers, the better.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No spare wheel?

        This is true, but it is far easier to find a replacement battery than the correct replacement tyre. The time I had a flat battery, I had a new one installed and on the way in 45 minutes. The last time I had a puncture, the total time spent on recovery and replacement ran into hours.

      3. Montreal Sean

        Re: No spare wheel?

        If my battery goes flat I can always push start my manual tranny car.

        If I have a blowout, I need a tyre of some kind in the car.

        I would much rather dirty my hands changing a tyre than wait (possibly) hours for a tow service.

      4. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: No spare wheel?

        Apparently, you are more than twice as likely to be stranded with a flat battery than a puncture.

        Perhaps you are. Try driving on the roads around here.

        Though I admit most of my flats have been due to sidewall damage, not punctures, so I suppose you're technically correct.

    6. Fungus Bob

      Re: No spare wheel?

      Looking back over 35 years of car ownership, I'd have been better off carrying spare engines than spare tires. Now the first thing I do when getting a vehicle is chuck the spare. But since I don't even think about getting anything with less than 100,000 miles on it, that's just good thinking because using a 15 year old space saver spare is probably more dangerous than shaving with a chainsaw.

      But, as with any other automotive discussion, YMMV...

  5. Craigie

    Same old

    No full recharge in 3 minutes and 400 mile range?

    No sale.

    Sorry, but that's how cars are used now.

    1. Hairy Spod

      Re: Same old

      That's how I used to think and then I realised that I hadnt used my commuter car to drive more than 30 miles even once in a single day in the last 18 months.

      I get the leaf later this month.

      We already do our longer journies as a family all together in our primary car and to be honest we might even stop using that and get a free loan of a quashqai for upto 14 days a year to help keep the miles off it.

      1. MadAxeMan

        Re: Same old

        Hairy Spod,

        You have done exactly what our family has done :) Trust me, the use of the primary car drops off significantly after you get a Pure EV.... Why pay £6 to do a journey you can either do for free (at the moment with free public charging points) or for less than £2.20?

        Our primary car has been sidelined, even for the longer journeys that are beyond the range of the leaf!

        --Roger (2013 G2 Leaf Tekna :) )

    2. MadAxeMan

      Re: Same old

      When was the last time you drove 400miles straight after spending 3 minutes at the fuel pump, (if pay@pump)?

      How far do you normally drive straight after filling up?

      I'm sorry driving 400miles in one go after filling up is not how cars are used today....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Same old

        "When was the last time you drove 400miles straight after spending 3 minutes at the fuel pump, (if pay@pump)?"

        Yesterday. Went to London dopped off some things (15mins stopped) then turned around and went home. Okay so it wasn't 400Miles...it was 432miles.

        "I'm sorry driving 400miles in one go after filling up is not how cars are used today...."

        You are totally missing the point. The fact is that at the moment you only have to "fill up" once a week or once every two weeks in most peoples situation, not every single day.

        People are already reminiscing about having a Nokia mobile phone they only had to charge weekly and are constantly moaning that their new Android/Apple phone needs daily charging. People wont accept the answer of "but people don't charge once a week, they do it daily so it's okay" so why should they with cars?

        1. MadAxeMan

          Re: Same old

          I'm not going to devolve into a tit for tat with an "Anonymous Coward", but being an Ex IT Consultant for HP where my average mileage was 25,000 every six months, these are not your normal users of these cars and when was the last time you made a 400mile trip like that and how often, unless you are a white van man?

          EV's are like Marmite, they either work for you or they don't, mine works for me as they could and would for many people if they could just get over this dependence on having an ICE in the car!

          As I've said (in another post) I clock up 20,000 miles a year now personal and I don't have an issue with driving onto my drive plugging my car into the external charging port on my drive. I'v never had the situation where "oh sorry can't come out tonight as I've been to Tesco and the Post Office" and I don't have any charge.. It's never failed to meet my needs

          (My ASDA has 32A Charging points, so I'm getting free electric whilst I shop and always go home with more than I left).

          I have 4 Rapid Chargers within 19 miles two of which are under 2miles yet I hardly ever use them even though they are free!

          People need to stop picking faults in this emerging technology and accept it for what it is, Range Bashing is tedious, as is Ohh No Spare Wheel, Lots of cars don' thave them these days! (Mini's being one and they are not EV either)

          My Fuel bil went from £3,600-£4,000 per year to less than £700. Economics makes sense, unless that is you have a fuel card and company car (although company car tax for a Mitsibushi PHEV is something like £38 a year instead of £300+)

          1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

            Re: Same old

            The practical aspects of a lekky car would work for my normal driving routine, but the finances will not. OK, so I would save £3000 or so a year fuel costs - but the price difference of the car means that it will take 5 years to break even, by which time I'll probably be needing a new battery for the lekky car at a cost that will take several more years to amortise away. I doubt that an electric car is inherently more expensive to manufacture than an ICE car - quite probably cheaper - so hopefully as sales volumes increase the price will come down to something that will make them more cost effective.

          2. Vic

            Re: Same old

            EV's are like Marmite, they either work for you or they don't

            Exactly so.

            mine works for me as they could and would for many people if they could just get over this dependence on having an ICE in the car!

            I'm glad - nay, jealous - that EVs work for you. I wish they'd work for me. At present, they don't.

            I don't have an issue with driving onto my drive plugging my car into the external charging port on my drive

            I don't have a drive. My vehicle is parked 6 doors up the road, and on the other side. That's as close as I could get when last I parked it. It is simply not possible for me to charge an EV from my house unless the rules are changed to give me priority parking outside my own house. Even then, that's going to mean draping cables across the pavement, which is going to lead to difficulty.

            I have 4 Rapid Chargers within 19 miles two of which are under 2miles yet I hardly ever use them even though they are free!

            According to this site, there are 9 points (of any sort) within 20 minutes' drive of me. 4 of them are marked as having "restricted access". At least 6 of them incur parking charges, and at least 8 of them (maybe all - the info is missing on one) require a subscription "from £12 a month". This doesn't make for easy logistics...

            People need to stop picking faults in this emerging technology and accept it for what it is

            Accepting it for what it is is exactly why people pick faults - for many of us, it's a nonsensical way of trying to arrange travel, however much we'd love for that not to be the case.

            Range Bashing is tedious

            But it's an important part of how vehicles are used!

            Next Friday, I have to drive some 80 miles in Friday-night traffic. I then need to leave my vehicle there (where there most definitely no charging points), and return to it the following day. I'll then need to do the same 80-mile trip in reverse. Whilst there is one 13A point *fairly* close to where I need to park up, it's still a drive away, and I can't leave the vehicle there overnight.

            So it's all very well saying that "range-bashing is tedious", but if the range available doesn't match the range required, the tool is simply not appropriate.

            So whilst I'd love to have an EV, even this simple journey would defeat the Golf in the article, and many other EVs to boot. And this is no major expedition...

            Vic,

        2. MadAxeMan

          Re: Same old - Nokia Phones

          But were you surfing the internet, listening to music, checking facebook on your old Nokia?

          I still have my old Nokia 6210 and 6310i....

          1. David Beck

            Re: Same old - Nokia Phones

            Yes, E52 in hand. Still my travel phone since the maps are on the mSD card and battery will last a week.

        3. Chloe Cresswell

          Re: Same old

          Also, you need somewhere to charge an EV.

          I live in a terrace, have on road parking. Nearest place I can charge would be on my Mum's drive, that's 20 miles away. That's a hell of a walk to get the car in the morning. ;)

      2. Chloe Cresswell

        Re: Same old

        Done "pick up van in brimingham, drive to london, load up and work, drive to Hull, unload, drive to birmingham" before..

        I don't belive I'd spend 3 mins filling up and then only beable to do 400 miles though, the range on my cars is 600-1000 on a tank (60 and 70 litres)...

      3. jonathanb Silver badge

        Re: Same old

        My diesel Aygo can get me from London to Glasgow and most of the way back on a single tank if I drive carefully, but usually I fill up in Glasgow before I leave.

      4. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Same old

        When was the last time you drove 400miles straight after spending 3 minutes at the fuel pump, (if pay@pump)?

        Couple of weeks ago.

        Actually, I lie. It was only a little over 300 miles between stops.

        But I certainly wouldn't want to try driving between Michigan and New Mexico in this electric Golf, nice though it might be as a commuter car.

        I'm sorry driving 400miles in one go after filling up is not how cars are used today....

        Here's a recent groundbreaking discovery: Not everyone is you.

  6. David M

    The plug-in hybrid Golf GTE is a bit more expensive, but looks much more practical. It has a (nominal) 30-mile electric range, plus an FSi petrol engine to keep you going when the battery runs out.

  7. spider from mars

    compared to the BMW i3

    Roughly the same price point, give or take a couple of grand, and the i3 has a range-extender version. Makes the Golf a bit of a hard sell.

  8. xenny

    Maybe not the whole car....

    I couldn't live with the range, but I'd love to be able to buy that windscreen as an optional extra.

    1. squigbobble

      Re: Maybe not the whole car....

      They've been available on Fords for over a decade. However, the durability is crap (the tiny wires gradually break so that strips of the windscreen cease to be heated) and my parents have had a car come straight from the factory with a few duff wires in the heated windscreen.

      1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

        Re: Maybe not the whole car....

        Reliability aside, the heated windscreens do work well. Although initially I habitually found that I had focussed my eyes on the wires rather than the road....

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Maybe not the whole car....

          initially I habitually found that I had focussed my eyes on the wires rather than the road

          So this is dangerous for people who are naturally cross-eyed? :p

          Originally I liked the idea - until I discovered that front windshields are considered part of the car's structural integrity (which is why they are glued in place). Those wires strike me as a weakness to that strength. They also tend to somehow reduce the quality of what you see - I may be expressing this badly but I just didn't like the impact the wires had on my view of the road.

          In the end I reverted to "traditionally" heated windshields..

          1. FunkyEric

            Re: Maybe not the whole car....

            I *love* my heated windscreen :-) Turning the engine on and watching the ice melt in seconds is always a joy :-)

            1. gotes

              Re: Maybe not the whole car....

              The heated windscreen was the only good thing about my Mondeo.

            2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

              Re: Maybe not the whole car....

              Turning the engine on and watching the ice melt in seconds is always a joy

              I bought my first car with a heated windscreen in May, and I'm really looking forward to trying it out. I live in an area that averages 50 inches of snow a year and I don't have a garage, so I spend a lot of time scraping windshields in the winter.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Maybe not the whole car....

        A decade? I had a Ford with heated windscreen in 1991. I once visited the company that made the wires, and the MD complained that he couldn't get a heated windscreen for his Audi.

        70 000 miles and no deterioration, only the smugness factor of demonstrating it in Germany in winter.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

          1. Steven Raith

            Re: Maybe not the whole car....

            My Puma is just heading towards 130,000 miles, is fourteen years old and gets thrashed to death where safe (including, again, where safe, lift off oversteer at every opportunity - and because local backroads, lots of rapid, high speed direction changes) which is bad for the screen because, as noted, it's part of the structure.

            Still demists perfectly every time.

            I think there were some Friday Afternoon Jobs on some early cars (or ones that were pranged and never fixed right - a shock through the chassis could reasonably damage the heated screen before it damaged the glass itself) but survey of one, etc, I'm pretty pleased with my one!

            Steven R

        2. JeffyPoooh
          Pint

          Re: Maybe not the whole car....

          At least some of the Fords had thin film metal plating on the windscreen, not wires as such. Their windscreens had a bronze tinge, except for a slot at the bottom middle where they left a gap - presumably so that one's radar detector would still work.

    2. Don Dumb
      Boffin

      Re: Maybe not the whole car....

      As others have pointed out - get a Ford (also on a few Land Rovers). I've used many, they are a godsend in the winter (for those of us that park outside) and otherwise you rarely notice the wires. I took a hire car last week, only after driving 150miles did I notice a slight glint and realise that the Fiesta I was driving had a heated windscreen.

      Just like rear windscreens, over time one of the wires in the mesh may fail but unless it is the one directly infront of the driver's view then it doesn't really cause any problems, just takes longer for that line of the windscreen to defrost.

  9. squigbobble

    "Top speed is limited to 87mph (140kmph) in the interests of power saving."

    ...and also of not melting the motor controller and setting fire to the battery pack.

  10. JeffyPoooh
    Pint

    "...has a stack of batteries where the spare wheel would go."

    Heavier than the spare? Will it help keep the inside rear wheel on the ground in corners?

  11. hugo tyson
    Coat

    Sums

    " I’d used 62 miles (100km) of range by doing 25 miles (40km) "

    I think your logic is wrong. What it says is that continuing to drive *like that* you would only have 51 miles left. Your driving style reduced the overall range to about 65% of what it could be. Original prediction was 113 miles. After driving a bit, the prediction for the total available was 51 remaining, plus the 25 you already did gives 76 miles total available range for your driving, about 65%.

    Possibly, depending on how fast the car learns your style, you could have driven "vigorously" for 2 miles and cut the predicted range from 111 miles to 74. Doesn't mean you used up 37 miles in going only 2.

    Not saying this is any good, mind, just the implication that you used 62 miles of predicted range in 25 miles distance is not valid.

    1. Steven Raith

      Re: Sums

      That may be true, but if the roads and traffic denote that driving style suits it, it's still going to seriously hamper the range.

      IE up here in North Yorkshire, there is a lot of pulling out of junctions at full throttle to join traffic (if you don't want be stuck there for ten minutes), overtaking the tourists, tractors and dawdlers, plenty of hills that require full throttle to maintain speed, etc - basically where you use more throttle travel, more of the time - even with 200lb/ft available.

      if the original range is 113 miles, around here you're probably not going to see more than 70 miles per charge even if you drive conservatively - and notably less if you're enthusiastic, just due to the nature of the roads.

      So it's a relevant point to make!

      Steven R

  12. MadAxeMan

    EV's = Marmite, they either work for you or they don't, it works for me, get over it....

    It's quite funny how its easy to be negative about electric cars and make fun, but the reality is, they either work for you or they don't.

    I purchased a Nissan Leaf (Fed up with waiting for VW to release the e-Golf), to use as my daily commute car for work covering between 15,000 and 20,000 miles per year, the Leaf has a reported range of in excess of 109miles, however lets face it most people have a heavy right foot and that will not be acheivable.

    I've cover on average 1,600 miles or more each month commuting to work and at an average cost of around £50 for electric not to be sneezed at.

    To put electric consumption into perspective they are better suited to A/B road driving as there is a constant drain on the batteries when using them on the Motorway, for example if I take my kids to school, which is a round trip of 8 miles, leaving home with 73miles range I can get home with 77miles range still in the tank (the wife can get more) whereas on my 40mile each way commute to work (nearly all on the motoroway and dual carraigeways), I use anything up to 50-60miles of range to get there and 35miles of range to get home (all down hill)

    On average my car generates in excess of 90KWh of electric each month due to regenerative braking (I leave work with say 70miles of range and I get to the Motorway with 73miles of range and it's a 13mile drive to the motorway. It's all about how you drive them, and if you test drive one, you really need it for at least 2 Days and I'd like to thank Nissan Cardiff for being the most helpful car dealer I've ever spoken to!

    Yes I do top up during the day, but only 20miles or so worth of range, and yes I do regularly drive it to places further than the range of the car (Sat Nav reports, at start of journey "Turn Right" followed by "You may not be able to reach your destination" LOL

    Range Anxiety? Once you've owned the car for a couple of weeks and you know what it can do, you don't even bother worrying anymore, you just look at the range when you get in and you instantly know if you can get where you're going and back :)

    I chose an EV as Hybrids do not work for me, as I wanted to elimitate the fuel cost completely as the engine would be running for nearly all of my journey as they kick in over a "certain Speed" the only one that comes close at the moment is the Mitsibushi PHEV.

    It works for me, people need to accept that things have to change and like smart phones, EV's are evolving all the time, and please stop parking in the public charging bays with your ICE vehicles.

    Can't wait to get my e-Golf next year :)

  13. graeme leggett

    "deliberately styled to look like a petrol engine"

    What happened to form following function?

    sounds like a waste of energy in design on making it a bit prettier in belief it might edge a sale. While in reality, for most people these days the engine bay contains more arcane mysteries than a wizard's library and owners scarcely lift the bonnet except to top up the wash bottle.

    design, if you must, for design's sake but make it look electrical not petrolhead: like something from Metropolis or ST:TNG

  14. This Side Up
    Headmaster

    264 x 323 volts = ~85kV (unlikely)

    "All this is powered by 264 lithium-ion cells rated at 323 volts and 24.2 kWh. "

    I suspect you mean the cells are rated at 1.2 volts and the battery as a whole provides 323 volts. Usually the capacity of a battery is rated in amp-hours at a specified rate (e.g. the one hour rate).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 264 x 323 volts = ~85kV (unlikely)

      I see your snark and remind you that Li cells are rated around 3.7V, it's NiMH that's 1.2

      kWH are far more useful than the AH rating, which was fine when just about all rechargeables were lead acid and everybody knew what it meant, but pretty useless when cells can be arranged in complex series/parallel combination.

  15. Ben 47

    "The e-Golf is the first Volkswagen to have LED headlights"

    Depends whether you mean just the brand, or the VW group.

    The current Seat Leon has had full LED headlights available an an option since it's 2012 launch, and which currently seem to be added as a permanent offer.

    1. Simon Rockman

      Re: "The e-Golf is the first Volkswagen to have LED headlights"

      Quite. The Audi Matrix stuff is very impressive.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Frunk?

    Tesla put the motor on the rear axle. Is VW unable to do the same, or if they are, WHAT IN HEAVENS is occupying the front bonnet? The schematic on the article suggests an ICE somewhere on the front, but ... Is it a hybrid then? If it isn't, why didn't they put the batteries where the ICE used to be, AND on the spare tires placement, AND on the petrol tank placement? Oh, the weight...

    [scratching head to clear questioning loop]

    On the bright side, Volkswagen Beetles had frunks, even before named that way.

    1. DJO Silver badge

      Re: Frunk?

      Front wheel drive.

  17. Gene Cash Silver badge
    WTF?

    "pre-crash preventative occupant protection"

    What the fuck is THAT?? Not hitting the other guy?? Jesus...

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: "pre-crash preventative occupant protection"

      Air bags?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Joke

        Re: "pre-crash preventative occupant protection"

        Automatic braking, seat-belt pre-tensioners, maybe even an ejection seat.

    2. JeffyPoooh
      Pint

      Re: "pre-crash preventative occupant protection"

      My Merc has something like that. Basically, if you manage to frighten the ECU by spirited driving, then windows and sunroof will slam closed, seats will quickly straighten up, and seatbelts will tighten electrically. I've triggered it off by hard acceleration on snow (4Matic, studded tires) followed slamming on the brakes and sliding (studs foiled by layers of snow). The tightening seatbelts was the primary result. It's supposedly very good at reducing injuies.

      1. Tom_

        Re: "pre-crash preventative occupant protection"

        Sounds like you could lose an arm if you're hanging it out of the window on a sunny day.

  18. Marcus Aurelius

    Disappointing

    It does sound as though VW have done a very half hearted job on this. Tesla have managed to bury the batteries in the floor and the electric motor on the axle, giving plenty of internal space. VW seem to have said you can't have a spare wheel because that's where we put the battery. The range sucks as well.

    I do know you can get more than 2 of these for a Tesla, but that will change when the next Tesla gets the cheap batteries from that large Nevada plant they're building.

    It surely ought to be able to make a battery car with range, performance and without totally swallowing up the internal dimensions.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Disappointing

      "I do know you can get more than 2 of these for a Tesla"

      I thougt you meant for a spare tire, which fits on the Tesla's frunk. A full-size 19', at that perhaps even a 21'. Given that where I drive we have plenty of potholes, where I've seen an alloy wheel actually brake in HALF, not having a spare is a scary proposition.

  19. Chicken Marengo
    FAIL

    Satnav?

    Why do you need a satnav in a car that doesn't have enough range to get off your driveway?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As you'd expect from VW

    This is a nice car for those who drive primarily in the city or a short distance at a time. Unfortunately electricity isn't free so consumers pay more for EVs and they still end up paying for electricity. For 99.999999999 % of society EVs don't make sense. Dealing with the toxic batteries after the car is dead is also a serious issue in addition to fires that have been documented to result from EV crashes. First responders have serious safety and health issues to deal with when batteries short circuit and cause a fire. In addition the populace is being asked/forced to pay for public EV recharging stations when these structures should be paid for by users not the populace.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: As you'd expect from VW

      All your arguments about toxic batteries, and the ones you didn't mention like the "long tailpipe" were already debunked. Search the topics on google. Lithium-ion batteries are recyclabe as well.

      And Tesla got a safety rating of 5.8 in a scale that goes to 5.0 in the US of A's NHTSA. Despite the battery fires that happened on a few of them. And Tesla reinforced their cars after the 3-or-so incidents you probably heard about. (Were they not Teslas?)

      One was caused by a tow hitch that would equally trash a ICE-engine car and cause a fire likewise, if you've seen the photos.

      Tesla is building their own recharging stations. With their own money.

      Public EVs cannot be generalized, each country has their own policy on the matter, but the last one is possible. So yeah.

  21. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    Golf GTi

    85kW (114bhp) - about the same Mk2 Golf GTi (1.8 8V) .

    1. JeffyPoooh
      Pint

      Re: Golf GTi

      What's the mass ratio?

      1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

        Re: Golf GTi

        Mk2 around 1100Kg, e-Golf around 1500Kg

        so Mk2 8V ~100bhp/T, e-Golf ~75bhp/T

        Torque comparison will be the other way round.

  22. MJI Silver badge

    VW Golf Cart?

    An electric vehicle used during Golf

  23. MJI Silver badge

    Too many electric toys

    Heated front window - ouch

    Also the underbonnet view looks silly, what is wrong with an electric motor.

    Regeneration breaking when coasting - not nice. Why not just slow down like ordinary cars?

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