Volkswagen last week started testing a battery-electric version of its Golf hatchback in the San Francisco Bay Area as the German automaker looks to test about 20 of its so-called "Golf Blue-e-motion" vehicles on U.S. roads, said.

VW, whose Electronic Research Laboratory is in Belmont, CA, will test a vehicle whose battery pack can be split into a few sections in order to better balance the car, the website said. The 114-horsepower plug-in can accelerate from 0 to 62 miles per hour in about 12 seconds and has a top speed of 87 miles per hour as well as a single-charge range of about 90 miles.

VW, which hasn't announced official plans to start selling the battery-electric Golf, said earlier this month that it would start selling a Golf plug-in hybrid (PHEV) in 2015. That model will likely pair a 1.4-liter turbocharged gas engine with a 107-horsepower electric motor and will be able to go as far as 30 miles in electric-only mode. VW will unveil a Golf PHEV concept vehicle at the Paris Motor Show this September, according to

In late 2010, VW unveiled the Golf Blue e-motion in Germany and said at the time that the prototype had a single-charge range of about 100 miles and that the range would be "significantly improved" by the time the model was sold to the public in 2014 (read this for our first-drive review).

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    • 1 Second Ago
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 3 Years Ago
      Don't test too many, VW.. you might have to end up selling them... ;]
      • 3 Years Ago
      'In town, it’s fast enough for you to breeze through traffic. Plus, the motor is so powerful, the engine is barely used on high-speed roads. VW says the Golf will have an electric-only range of around 30 miles and should be able to return 141mpg with overall CO2 emissions as low as 46g/km. The new MQB platform will also allow designers to mount the battery and electric motor in a way that doesn’t encroach on passenger or luggage space.' 'Volkswagen engineers have been tasked with another platform, MQB—again an acronym, this one roughly translating to modular transverse matrix. And, you guessed it, the engines are transversely mounted. MQB will underpin everything from the tiny VW Up! to the next-generation Volkswagen Passat. Basically any VW Group product that mounts its engine sideways in front of the cabin will be MQB—if you’re the numbers type, that’s about 60 cars. This is all about standardisation for VW. Like Ford they want to keep BEV and PHEV vehicles on fundamentally the same platform as their other cars to reduce costs, as a limited production run of a speciality vehicle otherwise costs a fortune. Unlike Ford they have no intention of producing a lash-up like the Ford Focus EV, basically stuffing batteries in platforms not designed or suited to them, and so compromising accomodation and likely other more abstruse aspects of the engineering. So their answer was to wait for their next platform, the MQB, so that they could design with BEV and plug-ins in mind as well as other drive trains from the first. So a pure electric will come first in the Up next year, but not in volume in the Golf until the new platform is introduces on that line. VW's view is that hybrids only become economic on larger cars, hence this will be the first of its plug ins, and that configuration will not appear in the Up, and presumably not in the Polo. They also started behind Nissan in batteries, and hope to produce in China to keep costs down. They are currently setting up their supply chain. VW most certainly have not been in the lead for electrification, but as always they are adopting a very consistent and methodical approach, and I expect their electric cars to be competitive and thoroughly well designed when they come out.
      • 3 Years Ago
      So in 2015 VW is planning on offering a competitor to the 2011 Chevy volt.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Yea, just about in time to compete with the Gen 2 Volt that is supposed to be cheaper, is supposed to get rid of the hump and seat 5, and is supposed to get better CS mode mpg. And might even be a flex-fuel car. I'm all for VW joining in and sending us a car. If they price it right, and it drives well, it deserves equal consideration. Their problem is that they are so far behind that they risk never being competitive because other companies will keep leap-frogging them.
      • 3 Years Ago
      CARB play? :-/
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