Volkswagen to Launch All-Electric E-Golf and E-up! in September

By · August 27, 2013

The Volkswagen e-Golf

The Volkswagen e-Golf

Volkswagen will introduce two new EVs at the same time, at the Frankfurt motor show in mid-September. Both models will be available to order at the show, with deliveries of the E-up! beginning right after the show, and the E-Golf coming very early next year. Specifications for the E-Golf have finally been revealed, and it's obvious that Volkswagen wants to outdo the Nissan LEAF.

The E-Golf has a 24.2-kWh battery pack compared to the LEAF's 24-kWh pack. The E-Golf's 85-kW motor is also bigger than the 80-kW motor in the LEAF. Volkswagen announced a zero-to-62 mph acceleration time of 10.4 seconds—when Nissan Europe said the LEAF needs 11.5 seconds to cover the same ground. Pricing has not been revealed yet, but it's quite likely that the E-Golf will be more expensive than the Japanese electric car.

Like most EVs, the e-Golf will come with an economy driving mode. In addition, it will allow drivers to choose between four different regenerative braking modes (D1, D2, D3 and B). Fast charging will occur through the SAE combo cord. Range is advertised at 118 miles, which sounds promising, but a bit optimistic.

The E-Golf comes to the United States in 2014.

Are Germans Ready for EVs?

The arrival of the VW EVs will reveal, in the real-world marketplace, if Germany is really ready to go electric. A recent survey of German drivers conducted by Aral, the German oil company owned by BP, is worth noting. A question about fuel is of particular interest:

  • 53% of Germans said they want their next car to run on gasoline
  • 31% want a diesel
  • 6% want a car running on LPG
  • 6% want compressed natural gas
  • 2% want a hybrid gas-electric car
  • And 1% want to buy an electric car

In a country where new car registrations should be around 3.3 million this year, this indicates that there's a market for about 33,000 EVs. In another question on the survey, Germans said that EVs were the best solution to protect the environment in the next 10 years. This should encourage Volkswagen, which will next month begin selling an electric car for the first time.

The Volkswagen e-Golf and e-up!

Two electrics, the Volkswagen E-Golf and E-up!

Perhaps the E-Golf's greatest selling point is that it will be built in Germany. Results from the Aral survey were clear on this point. Only 9 percent of Germans said they would consider buying a Japanese car in 2013, which is quite shocking considering that the rate was 15 percent when Aral first made that same survey 10 years ago.

Selling Japanese EVs is a tough job in Germany. It will be easier selling an electric Volkswagen. The German company is the only one, besides Nissan, to build its EVs all by itself. Everything in the car—the motor, the battery and the electronics—is built by Volkswagen, in Volkswagen's own factories, in Germany. (Toyota has not yet built an EV with a propulsion system of its own design; Ford and GM get their batteries from an external supplier.)

Volkswagen is not a minor league player in the auto industry. It's a giant. The company has invested a lot in electric cars. It appears to be committed to EVs. The release of its first electric models will be the first tangible sign that it's serious about leading in the electric car market.


· · 4 years ago

"The E-Golf comes to the United States in 2014."

Excellent new! There are 126 days left in 2013 and 364 of them through 2014 (if VW decides that December 31st of that year is "the day') That's 490 days - and counting - as of . . . now!

So, the next question I have is if this is going to be another in a long list of California-only compliance cars, or does VW America actually want to sell them in the same sort of unencumbered fashion that Nissan has chosen to with marketing the Leaf?

· · 4 years ago

It says " the E-Golf coming very early next year" which is even better!

The wheels look to be smooth and flat, with minimal openings, so they are addressing some of the aero drag; which is a good thing. I am hoping they keep the "sail" mode i.e. free wheel coasting in the eco mode.

The Golf will probably be smaller inside than the Leaf, so I hope it costs *less* than the Leaf, too.

Will the E-up! be sold in the USA? What are the specs on this model?


· · 4 years ago

Fanboy much, hein Laurent?

Sorry but you're not doing us readers a good service when you nitpick about the e-Golf having a 24.2 kW*h battery vs 24 kW*h for the Leaf, then goes on to boast about the e-Golf's 118 miles range rating, yet purposely omit that information for the Leaf you're desperately trying to show isn't as good.
On the same unrealistic NEDC scale, the Leaf is rated 199km/124miles.

Also forgotten(?) is any pricing info. While I don't have one handy for the e-Golf either, the more modest e-Up is anything but cheap in Europe, over 34k$:

So does VW "appears to be committed to EVs", or "is serious about leading in the electric car market"?
I'd say, nope, not unless they really start moving some metal, and while it's obviously too early to tell, pricing on the e-Up isn't very promising...

· · 4 years ago

Is the Battery Liquid cooled like most other EVs or is it NOT ready for hot climate like the Nissan Leaf?

· · 4 years ago

Lets see, the Focus Electric will be going on sale in Germany soon. Will be expensive though with a price of about 39,000 Euros. Ford doesn't expect to sell many there.
Specs include:
107 kW motor (143 HP)
184 lb-ft Torque
23 kWh battery
76 mile range, 3 more miles than leaf with 1 kWh less. I don't know about rated range from Europe guidelines.

Oh and 5 star crash test rating. Apparently it was the safest electric car tested until the Model S probably beat it, they both still got the same 5 star rating.

· · 4 years ago

Considering that EVs so often get denigrated as "golf carts" it sucks that there will actually be an EV called the e-Golf. The (bad) jokes write themselves.

· · 4 years ago


Well, maybe VW should just use it as "free publicity" by offering an E-Golf with "cart" trim level.

· · 4 years ago

I wonder how many potential customers there are like me who like the car otherwise, but can't get by with such a small battery?

· · 4 years ago

'The e-Golf and other future plug-in models will be sold in multiple U.S. markets, not just California.'

· · 4 years ago

'The e-Golf and other future plug-in models will be sold in multiple U.S. markets, not just California.'

· · 4 years ago

I don't know where you get the notion that the Model 7 Golf will be smaller inside than the Leaf.
It is not, it is bigger, and designed so that there is no intrusion into the passenger or load space in the electric version - that is why VW have come out with 4 new platforms, to enable all drive trains to be fitted without compromising space.

The E-Up will not be sold in the US

· · 4 years ago

@ Mr O:
The range of the E-Golf is likely to be a bit less than the 2013 Leaf, but it is a bigger car with more accomodation and faster acceleration.

As for the price for the E-Up, from your link:
'Volkswagen’s first fully electric mass production car will have a starting price of €26,900 in Germany ($34,496/£23188 at current exchange rates), which will make it about €3,000 more expensive than a Nissan Leaf with a leased battery.'

So you are comparing prices for cars with and without batteries.

There is 20% VAT payable in Germany, and no subsidy whatsoever.

So the $34,500 is around $27,600 Ex VAT, and in the US after subsidy for those eligible would be around $20k, which is pretty reasonable although it will not be sold in the US.

The point is that the price is competitive with other electric cars.

· · 4 years ago

VW seem to have opted for active air cooling:

This of course is different to the passively cooled Leaf.
The chemistry of the battery is also likely to differ - the Leaf's manganese spinel are exceptionally vulnerable.

Personally I would certainly lease not buy batteries in Arizona, but that applies to all the other electric cars too, as the heat there is awful for batteries, even lead acid starter batteries - it is just that they are cheaper to replace.

I would not touch the Leaf in Arizona even on a lease basis.

· · 4 years ago

Ford have shoe-horned electric drive into an existing body.
Load space remaining is tiny.

The E-Golf uses their new MQB platform, designed so that a variety of drive trains including electric can be installed with minimum fuss and without compromising accomodation or load space.

They've spent a few billion changing all their platforms, Ford hasn't, and it shows.

· · 4 years ago

For those for whom the range is inadequate, VW is releasing a variety of PHEV cars.
The Audi A3 PHEV is definitely to be released in the states, and the Golf and Passat PHEVs are very, very likely to follow.
The Passat will play to the many Americans who prefer saloons.

· · 4 years ago

"The e-Golf and other future plug-in models will be sold in multiple U.S. markets, not just California."

That's also welcomed news, Davemart. VW (your employer?,) however, has been on and off the EV fence so often in recent years that I'll believe it when I see it. Bully for them if they really make good on their promise.

Day 489 and counting . . . :-)

PS: lead acid starter batteries designed specifically for desert climates exist (thinner plates that are closer together, I think, is how its done) and do quite well. The starter batteries that fail prematurely down here are ones designed for cold weather cranking. I think it's been about 4 years since I've had to swap out the one in my old Saturn.

While we are certainly a few years away from commercially-available Lithium Sulfur cells, the word on them is that they actually LIKE the heat and work best at around 200 degrees F. Thermal management will go from being an almost universal cooling protection scenario to one that almost solely pre-heats the cells . . . especially in cold climates.

· · 4 years ago

I didn't realize German's were so anti-Japanese cars. Certainly, the USA was that way, too, about 40 years ago.

Many of these manufacturers, like VW, BMW, Mercedes and GM all claim fantastic EV sales all over the world with their latest (usually converted) car. At least Toyota and Honda don't waste any time with this kind of BS... they are both very open to why, where and how many CARB-ZEV conversion cars they will sell.

VW and the rest will absolutely sell those cars in California, and other CARB states in the coming years. Whether there are sales elsewhere in any volume (and without some local government incentive) is dubious in the short term.

Yes, I'm confident the German car market will buy German cars and support the German DC quick charging standard. Your poll results reinforce why.

· · 4 years ago

The VW group has not put several billion into redesigning all its platforms and set up battery production facilities for the fun of it.
Now they are committed, they will follow through.
Their main emphasis is on PHEVs, but BEV offerings for those who prefer them are now entering production.

I have no financial interest in VW, but as a European I naturally follow the European car manufacturers more closely than Americans might.

· · 4 years ago

Tony said:
'Many of these manufacturers, like VW, BMW, Mercedes and GM all claim fantastic EV sales all over the world with their latest (usually converted) car.'

Which simply makes no sense at all.
VW has redesigned every platform it has at a cost of billions to make them multi drive train compatible, and there is nothing of a conversion about either the E-Up or the E-Golf.

BMW has also set up a manufacturing chain across three continents to produce carbon fibre for its electric and plug in vehicles, so how on earth anyone can count the i3 and the i8 as some sort of lash up conversion beggars belief.

GM, although it converted the Spark, and did a good job of it, led the car manufacturing industry with the ground breaking Volt.

Mercedes through its Smart division has the very competitive two seater EV, much nicer than the ICE version.

So what you are on about baffles me, other than you apparently have some wish to denigrate their best efforts.

Electrifying transport is non-trivial, and will take time.

· · 4 years ago

Davemart, if the VW, et al, are so fantastic as you say, then what can go wrong?

I actually own and drive BEVs here in California, the absolute leader of the world in EV adoption. All those companies I've listed previously, BMW, Fiat/Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, Daimler/Mercedes, Nissan, Toyota, and Volkswagen must comply with CARB-ZEV. It's not negotiable, as hard as they collectively have tried!! So, exactly what I said is true; all these companies will produce Zero Emission Vehicles whether they want to or not (or they don't sell oil cars in California).

So far, virtually all these cars are conversions sold in absolute minimum volume to comply, except the Nissan LEAF:

Ford Focus EV
Honda Fit EV
Fiat/Chrysler 500e
Toyota Rav4 EV
GM Chevrolet Spark EV

That's just a fact. If Volkswagen has a better mouse trap, good for them. I'm not as easily swayed by the rhetoric.

· · 4 years ago

That is a good news from a company that has presently no EV on the market. It is a feint positive trend but will they really sell it or say they have them but hide them behind all their petrol cars.
On technical side it is a "me too" of the Leaf but with the same flew of no range extender on a too short range battery. At least BMW is proposing the i3 with the option of a range extender but VW doesn’t although they have the micro Wankel from the Audi A1 e-tron.
Like it is it will be very low key sales, if they double the range or if they add a Wankel rex it would be a blockbuster.
Let's wait and see!

· · 4 years ago

You are very selective about your 'facts'.
You stated that most of the manufacturers you named were simply converting cars, and claimed fantastic EV sales already.
Neither statement is 'factually' correct.
As detailed above, they have designed mostly new cars, not modifications of existing ones.

Since, for instance, VW has not so far produced any EV's, they are certainly not claiming fantastic, or indeed, any, sales of them.

General release in the US hardly speaks to compliance cars.

You switch grounds in the second post to a different list of manufacturers, with for instance the Honda Fit certainly a compliance car, as is the GM Spark, but they also produce the Volt which certainly is more than that.

If you wish to stick to the 'facts' it would help if you were less tendentious in your selection of them, and indeed considerable more accurate.

· · 4 years ago

I don't think Tony or anyone else who has posted on this thread is ganging up against VW in advance, Davemart. Given that the VW group has had a very public on-again/off-again attitude in regards to EVs (witness the cancelling of Audi's A1 and A2 EV projects after earlier proclamations that they would be available,) I think its only with healthy skepticism that some of us are waiting to see if the nationwide US EV launch is really going to happen.

If it does, I wish VW the best with it. They're well-designed, quality-built and nice-looking cars that aren't unreasonably priced. If my '64 Beetle ran on electrons instead of refined multi-million year old liquid plant matter, I'd probably still be driving it.

If, however, VW suddenly does an about face and offers the US-bound E-Golf only as a California-exclusive compliance car, I will have to join in on the collective scorn and derision that is bound to follow.

488 days to go and counting . . .


· · 4 years ago


"You switch grounds in the second post to a different list of manufacturers, with for instance the Honda Fit certainly a compliance car, as is the GM Spark, but they also produce the Volt which certainly is more than that."

Tony William doesn't think Volt belongs to the "EV" group and he drives a compliance car himself (Toyota E-Rav4).

· · 4 years ago

Really Tony? You didn't know there is a bit of a Nationalist streak in Germans?

C'mon. ;-)

BTW, I wouldn't put the Ford Focus EV in the compliance category. It is true that it probably doesn't sell many to be much more than a compliance car but it is available in many other non ZEV states so it is not just a compliance car. It is just an over-priced car.

· · 4 years ago

Hi Benjamin:
VW's slowness and multiple hesitations about EVs, together with at times very negative comments particularly from Audi, have created an understandable scepticism about their intentions.

I tend to look at the money though, and the VW group have put several billion into designing new multi drive compatible platforms, a way, way, bigger commitment than anyone but Nissan.

It is entirely possible that if it doesn't sell at a price they reckon they can make a profit on, the Golf BEV will be scaled back to more of a compliance car, as VW has no ideological commitment to electric the way Nissan or Tesla do.

They don't really care what people want to buy, as they have positioned themselves to produce whatever is required, BEVs, PHEVs, NG or fuel cell vehicles down the road.

They make no secret of the fact that what they think is going to fly is the PHEV though, and that will be their main focus.

So the BEV may end up as compliance, I don't know, I just go by what VW say, and at the moment they tell us that is not their intention, but the PHEV is scheduled to be much, much more than that.

I rate VW's entry to this market at the biggest news in the electric car sector for 2014-5.

· · 4 years ago

Where do I see dimensions etc of e-Golf ? I'd be surprised if they go on sale in the US in any non-CARB states (at least to start with) - but, if they do, that is great. We currently have no competitor to Leaf.

One more thing, it is not just a question of where it is sold. It is also a question of how much money and attention does the manufacturer put behind the car. Look at Focus EV - sold everywhere but the numbers make it look like a compliance car.

BTW, Golf (remember golfcart ?) is an unfortunate name for an EV.

· · 4 years ago


The Golf7 BEV is identical in accomodation and load space to all other Golf7's - ie a bit bigger than the Golf6 on the roads ATM in the US.

That is the reason that they swapped to the new MQB platform, so that they could put any drive train they fancied in without affecting utility.

· · 4 years ago

I'm sure Volkswagen, if they wanted to, could come up with a really great EV. They must have a big bureaucracy that is preventing it.

They've been advertising these things for years, and even if they start releasing them they seem to be very "Me Too". No one need wait for these cars since other manufacturers make proven products on the market at a competitive price.

At least the Volt is novel as an amphibian as Musk calls it, and for a one car family the car is HUGELY practical.

If you want a very popular distinctive vehicle, then there's either the Roadster or S from Tesla.

If you want a practical family hauler, there's Nissan's Leaf.

I don't see where VW has anything more to offer, other than their experimental high mileage vehicle of which they don't plan on selling more than 250.

· · 4 years ago

I dunno, Bill. If VW really does go nationwide across the US with the E-Golf, it would make for interesting one-on-one competition with the Leaf. I hope they do it. A PHEV Golf would make for an interesting counterpart to the Volt, as I'm going to guess the electric-only range would be similar.

A big disappointment would be a PHEV that mimics the Plug-In Prius' or C-Max Enegi's electric range stats. An even bigger disappointment would be a California-only E-Golf. As Davemart mentions, VW has spent billions so they can swap in any sort of power plant into their unibody frames at the drop of a dime. Let's hope their US marketing department actually shows as much initiative.

485 days to go and counting, VW.


· · 4 years ago

The simple answer as to why some might prefer the Golf either as a BEV or a PHEV to the Leaf or Volt is space.
It is roomier than either.
Saloon drivers will also be able to buy the Passat PHEV , and performance orientated folk or those who simply like things a bit plusher will have the Audi A3 PHEV, whilst at the top of the market there are SUVs etc to come.

The VW/Audi/Porsche offerings are right across the market, covering most of the segments except the lowest priced ones.

· · 4 years ago

Its worth mentioning that the surprise package from VW for Americans may not be electric drive at all, but natural gas.
Their new platforms are equally capable of being fitted to use that too, without bulky intrusions or excessive cost, and that is coming at least for European markets.

If NG gets more popular in the US, the VW group can provide the vehicles without the expensive modifications needed for their diesel models for the US market.

The premium for NG cars in Europe is a fraction of that typical in the US, and Fiat are really big, in fact the biggest, in this market, but VW have plenty of track record for them.

At a saving of around $1 a gallon equivalent, they could prove attractive and upset the present calculations about what will sell.

· · 4 years ago

"Its worth mentioning that the surprise package from VW for Americans may not be electric drive at all, but natural gas. Their new platforms are equally capable of being fitted to use that too . . . "

Well, that would be unfortunate, Davemart. Once the political will emerges to properly regulate hydraulic fracking in this country (laws that were unceremoniously dismantled by Dick Cheney and his Haliburton hoodlums some years back,) the price of natural gas might go up. I won't cry elephant tears when it does.

Yes, natural gas is cleaner burning than coal. But that's sort of like saying its preferable to contract gonorrhea than syphilis. I'd rather have natural gas powering turbines at power plants than engines in cars. It's easier to regulate emissions at a single large source than millions of smaller ones that are constantly moving around. CNG cars simply swap one source of fossil fuel for another. It's not a solution, only a slightly cleaned up version of the same problem we have now.

Instead of VW dumping CNG Golfs onto the American public, just so they can show off their multi-powertrain format adaptability on every car model they now manufacture (yes, yes, we now know that VW could make a Golf in a heartbeat that runs on pig shit and pecan shells, if a dedicated engine was suddenly available,) let's see them do the right thing and give us a vehicle that runs on a true and potentially far cleaner "flex fuel" . . . electricity.

· · 4 years ago

Oh. Almost forgot . . . 484 days to go and counting.

· · 4 years ago

I don't believe the case is nearly as open and shut against NG cars as you say.
Personally I prefer fuel cell vehicles, which use NG even after reforming losses over twice as efficiently, but we are not really talking about what either of us prefer, or at least I am not.
I just indicated that if the US does move towards NG vehicles, which I can't rule out, VW have the drive train capable of doing that.

Incidentally there is plenty of 'pig shit and pecan shells' used in Germany, simply converted to biogas and fed into the grid! ;-)

· · 4 years ago

Ah, yes . . . fuel cells. I'm sure VW has an R&D department for those too. And what do you want to bet that the Golf has got just enough space under the hood to shoehorn one in there?

But jeez, Wolfsburg, just give us cars with batteries, make those EVs available across the US and you'll only have an insignificant number of rivals in that field.

As for pig poop, Davemart, someone really SHOULD attempt to extract the methane from that source, as it's more plentiful there than in just about any other farm animal excrement. As a vegetarian, I say let Porky and his friend live and harvest the droppings. After reading this, you'll probably want to stay away from pork food products anyway . . .

483 days to go and counting, VW. Just keep on saying "batterien."

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