by Lem Bingley
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.
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.
E-Golf and e-Up: electric VWs large and small
27 August 2013
by Lem Bingley