E-Golf and e-Up: electric VWs large and small

27 August 2013

Electric VWs

Battery powered versions of the Up and Golf hatchbacks will be unveiled by Volkswagen at next month’s Frankfurt Motor Show. They are called the e-Up and e-Golf, meaning VW appears to have dropped the cumbersome “Blue-e-Motion” brand it applied to the development version of the electric Golf I drove last year.

The electric motors, transmissions and lithium-ion battery packs used in both of the upcoming electric cars have been developed in-house and will also be manufactured by VW, according to the company.

The e-Golf features an 85kW (114bhp) electric motor with diesel-like torque of 270Nm, driving the front wheels. Peak torque arrives at low speeds, helping to achieve a 0-62mph time of 10.4 seconds. That's about 1.5 seconds better than expected and just over a second quicker than the updated Nissan Leaf can manage.

Sprinting will of course be hampered by an inevitable increase in weight compared to conventional Golfs, with VW yet to put a figure on the e-Golf’s overall mass. Top speed will be capped at 87mph. The 24.2kWh of energy stored by the battery – about the same as the Leaf – allows the e-Golf to travel about 118 miles between recharges, according to VW, not far off the 124 miles currently claimed by Nissan.

e-Golf and e-Up

The smaller e-Up boasts a 60kW (80bhp) motor with 210Nm of torque, good for a 12.4-second zip to 62mph and an 81mph top speed. The e-Up’s more compact 18.7kWh battery provides a 100-mile range between charges. The e-Up should provide stiff competition for the Renault Zoe electric car, assuming VW can bring it to market with a competitive price.

Both electric Volkswagens will offer a choice of two operating modes, Eco and Eco+, trading range against performance, as well as four levels of driver-selectable regenerative braking. Both cars will also support direct-current fast-charging sufficient to provide an 80% charge in around 30 minutes, according to Volkswagen.

Pricing and availability information will presumably be announced at Frankfurt.

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