As we said when we first drove the Volkswagen Golf blue e-motion, Volkswagen is taking its time getting into the all-electric game. Given the tremendous ups and downs that electric vehicles and EV start-up companies are going through, maybe making sure you have a car where everything is working smoothly – to say nothing about getting the infrastructure in place – isn't such a bad idea. And it now seems like VW is confident enough in its Golf EV, which is undergoing testing in California, to push up its estimated release date from 2014 to late 2013. Sure, technically, that could be a difference of just one day, but we don't think that's what VW of America president Jonathan Browning meant when he confirmed next year's U.S. release date with Automotive News recently. Late 2013 is also when the car will go on sale in Europe. A plug-in hybrid Golf is supposed to go on sale in 2015.

Even though VW is getting ready to move into electric vehicle territory, it is well behind other automakers. Perhaps that's why it is also a bit less optimistic about potential success of plug-ins. The automaker expects just three percent of its new vehicles to be EVs or hybrids by 2018. You can read our second spin in the Golf blue e-motion here.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 11 Comments
      EZEE
      • 8 Months Ago
      A Golf seems to be a bit of a heavy car to convert over to electric (how much heavier then?), but, we can wait and see what the numbers are on range, charging time, and of course, price PRIOR to hating on it (wonders if that will blunt people hating on it....?). The potential positive is, current electrics (Leaf, Focus) are pretty expensive, with limited range, so if VW can work on those two things and get positive numbers, they have the potential to leap frog to the front. Nice ot see that Vee-Dub is jumping into the game.
        DaveMart
        • 8 Months Ago
        @EZEE
        The production car is unlikely to differ significantly from this: 'The battery pack holds 26.5 kilowatt-hours of electricity, and the drive system output rates at 85 kilowatts. Volkswagen puts the car's range at 93 miles, and cites a 60 mph acceleration time of 11.8 seconds. Top speed is 87 mph.' http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13746_7-57384759-48/volkswagen-ships-first-electric-golf-to-california/ Their main electric offering is likely to be the smaller and lighter Up, for which however there is no sign that it will go to the States: 'In place of the normal models’ three-cylinder petrol engine, the e-Up has an 80bhp electric motor directly geared to the front wheels. It develops 148lb ft of torque from standstill, which makes performance below 50mph extremely brisk. Its 0-62mph acceleration is said to be “below 14sec” and the car is electronically limited at 80mph. A full recharge takes around eight hours using household equipment, but the car also has an industry-standard fast-charging socket. The e-Up’s power is provided by an 18.7kWh lithium ion battery bank that weighs around 250kg. It is located longitudinally below the cabin floor and is designed to still be delivering 80 per cent of its original power after a 10-year life. The e-Up weighs around 200kg more than the standard models, but its interior and boot space are identical.' http://www.autocar.co.uk/News/NewsArticle/AllCars/261216/ That is due in Europe next summer.
          Spec
          • 8 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          They gotta start selling some of these smaller cars like the UP! in the states. We are poorer now and the price of gas has gone up sharply. The Mini was success. I think the Fiat 500 is doing OK. OK, the SmartCar bombed but that gas version is a piece of crap.
          EZEE
          • 8 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          Dave In the USA, I believe there is a 'small is cheap' mentality that created a problem. With the exception of the mini, there are few small cars that actually have nice materials and content. Ford tried with the fiesta to some extent, and sales are mediocre at best. The company I work for had Chevy impala, then switched to fusions. Now, they are talking about switching back because people are complaining. The fusion is better in nearly every way (and I average 30mpg) and people say it is too small! I offered to drive a focus (give me a few options as incentive), but.....no. The way we are seeing SUV's with ecoboost and skyactiv, I don't think the American view will change. Shame really.
          DaveMart
          • 8 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          Its not easy parking a big car in the cities in Europe, as much of it is parallel parking, which cuts down on the temptation to go large. In much of the US cost aside there is no real reason to drive a small car, so people very reasonably choose to have more room. That makes decent fuel economy, particularly in the city, tough to get, together with the US preference for automatic gearboxes.
          DaveMart
          • 8 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          Its on a par with the Leaf, not the Focus EV. It is properly designed and has a boot, The Ford is a kludge in my view. The problem with selling very small cars in the US is that you don't make any money on them. Cars in the US are cheaper than in Europe even after taking out VAT and so on. I reckon if petrol prices continue to rise they may send you the Up electric though, and maybe the Up CNG. Both are pretty awesome cars. If you are really lucky you might get the Up GT, which is amazing, and pretty much like the original Golf GT in accomodation and performance. Crappy auto gearbox though, so stick to the manual if they send one over,
          EZEE
          • 8 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          As always, thanks for the research! I guess it sounds on par with the focus and the leaf. I was hoping for more, or cheaper. VW usually isn't cheaper, but will save a rant for when the car is actually out...
      skierpage
      • 8 Months Ago
      You're citing your own mistaken article about the "2015" plug-in hybrid Golf; that was based onAutoExpress's review which nowhere mention 2015. Recent VW statements include "A plug - in hybrid A3 is planned for 2014." Maybe VW is delaying the date of its first plug-in from the 2013 they've been claiming, but please provide actual sources. VAG is likely to launch it off the MQB platform, so it could be a Golf, Jetta, or A3; it will probably be a different car in different markets on different schedules.
      Peter
      • 8 Months Ago
      Great car, great prospects, bring it on VW... and let us buy them!
        Dan Frederiksen
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Peter
        yeah right. it will be few, it wont really be available and it will be overpriced
          EZEE
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Dan Frederiksen
          all I can say is I HOPE you are wrong on price. I will probably be wrong, but, I hope it is you.
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