VW E-Golf Scores 116 MPGe Rating, But Does It Matter?

By · October 23, 2014

VW E-Golf

Volkswagen announced today that the 2015 E-Golf electric cars was rated by the Environmental Protection Agency at 126 city, 105 highway, and 116 combined miles per gallon of gasoline equivalent. According to VW, these numbers make the E-Golf “the most efficient car in its class for the 2015 model year.” Yet, in the world of EVs, these efficiency numbers take a secondary role to the all-important range number: how far an EV can go on a single charge.

In this respect, the VW E-Golf’s EPA-estimated range is 83 miles—compared to 84 miles provided by the Nissan LEAF. It’s curious to see the LEAF rated at 114 MPGe, compared to the E-Golf’s 116 MPGe—while the LEAF gets an extra mile of estimated range from a 24 kilowatt-hour battery pack that is identical in size to the one in Volkswagen’s electric car.

The numbers are so close to one another as to be essentially identical in real-world driving. EV buyers are well advised to pay more attention to the size of an electric car’s battery pack—and the resulting driving range—rather than negligible differences in MPGe efficiency numbers. For example, the 2015 Kia Soul—which has a considerably lower EPA efficiency rating of 105 MPGe—nonetheless has a 28 kilowatt-hour battery pack providing 93 miles of estimated range (compared to the 83 miles offered by the E-Golf). Ten miles of extra range can come in very handy.

Volkswagen is also making a distinction about its “class” of vehicle. The BMW i3 is in a different class. It's smaller lighter and more expensive EV—beating the E-Golf by earning a combined EPA rating of 124 MPGe, making it the overall most efficient electric car on the market. Yet, the i3’s smaller 22 kWh battery pack means that the BMW electric car’s official driving range is 81 miles.

In addition, a battery-powered vehicle’s overall package—style, passenger and cargo room, and driving characteristics—are for many buyers more important considerations.

The E -Golf comes equipped with a standard Combined Charging System, which allows the car to use the SAE standard DC fast charging infrastructure, bringing the battery’s state of charge to 80 percent in about 30 minutes. The E-Golf, starting at $36,265, will go on sale at participating dealerships in select states in November.

Comments

· · 3 years ago

"It’s curious to see the LEAF rated at 114 MPGe, compared to the E-Golf’s 116 MPGe—while the LEAF gets an extra mile of estimated range from a 24 kilowatt-hour battery pack that is identical in size to the one in Volkswagen’s electric car."

The elephant in the room here is the fact that MPGe counts wall-to-wheels efficiency. In other words, this difference can easily be due to a slightly more efficient charger in the eGolf. This would not surprise me, since the eGolf has a 7+ kW charger whereas the Leaf is only 6.0kW. Any fixed overhead would be reduced due to the eGolf taking less time to top off.

· · 3 years ago

Do we know if the e-Golf has a direct heating defroster?

If so, this will be a first for an EV, and it will help the winter range not take as much of a hit.

I am hoping to at least test drive the e-Golf and see how the drive modes and coasting / regen levels work.

New to EVs? Start here

  1. Seven Things To Know About Buying a Plug-In Car
    A few simple tips before you visit the dealership.
  2. Incentives for Plug-in Hybrids and Electric Cars
    Take advantage of credits and rebates to reduce EV costs.
  3. Buying Your First Home EV Charger
    You'll want a home charger. Here's how to buy the right one.