Cheaper all-electric Volkswagen Golf coming

VW to launch entry-level version of all-electric e-Golf; will start at $34,270.

Volkswagen is rolling out a cheaper edition of its all-electric e-Golf hatchback in an effort to broaden the car’s appeal and keep up with the rest of the price-conscious segment.

The new 2015 VW e-Golf Limited Edition, on its way to dealerships now, carries a price tag of $34,270 before state or federal tax incentives, the company announced Thursday.

That’s $2,000 less than the initial SEL model VW that debuted in November, and there's also a lease rate of $229 a month (with $1,999 down), which VW hopes will lure consumers who may have been turned away by the high purchase price

The lower-priced version isn’t in response to slow sales or lower gas prices, VW maintains, though sales have been tepid.

The e-Golf first hit the market in November, and through the end of February VW has sold just 668 copies.

For comparison, Nissan has sold 8,057 of it’s all-electric Leaf hatchbacks in the same period of time. The Leaf has about the same range as the e-Golf, though Nissan’s car starts at $29,860. 

Instead, VW said, the introduction of a lower-priced model was a pre-planned strategy to launch the all-electric version of the company’s popular Golf: start with the more pricey SEL model at the end of 2014, and offer the value-oriented model afterward.

The $2,000 reduction means buyers give up goodies like leather seats, LED headlights and alloy wheels. But the cheaper Limited Edition model still comes with a navigation system,  keyless entry, a backup camera with parking sensors, and dual-zone climate control.

Both versions of the e-Golf have the same drivetrain. A 24.2 kWh lithium-ion battery powers an electric motor that has the equivalent of 115 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque.

The EPA rates the e-Golf’s range at 83 miles on a single charge, and says it has an MPGe rating of 126 miles in the city, 105 miles on the highway, and 116 miles combined.

Standard on the new e-Golf is a fast-charging system that recharges the battery to 80% in 30 minutes using a commercial fast-charging station like the kind ChargePoint offers on a subscription basis.

Without using that feature, the car can recharge fully in less than four hours using a 240v outlet or in around 20 hours using a standard 110v plug.

 

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