Review: Volkswagen e-Golf EV
Some car companies were dragged kicking and screaming into the electric-vehicle market by the 10-state zero-emission-vehicle (ZEV) mandate, hastily shoving electric motors and batteries into existing products with only the most minor changes. Volkswagen, however, seems to be warming to the presumably still unprofitable task of selling EVs, bringing out a refreshed e-Golf only two years after launching an 83-mile-range model that nonetheless managed to sell nearly 4000 copies in the U.S. last year.
The 2017 e-Golf’s best trick is that it can now stretch 125 miles of range out of a lithium-ion battery pack that, we’re told, has the same number of cells and weighs the same as before yet rises from a rating of 24.2 kWh to 35.8. Magic? It reminds us of the horsepower screw that Wolfsburg turns to make identical engines achieve different output ratings in VW and Audi models.
VW says the e-Golf’s improvement was accomplished via battery optimization. The new model is indeed packing a new battery pack with revised cell chemistry, not just a software change, and there are no plans to offer owners of older e-Golfs the upgrade. Hey, they didn’t upgrade that iPad of yours every time a new one came out, did they? Welcome to the incrementally improving world of e-cars!