Visitors to this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show better be careful not to trip over all the plugs as manufacturers bring an array of new battery-based vehicles out for inspection. And none have more to show off than the Volkswagen Group.
The German giant covers a wide range of offerings with any manner of hybrids, plug-ins and pure battery-electrics for its various brands, including the extended-range Audi Sport Quattro show car. But the flagship VW brand itself weighs in with a pair of new all-electric offerings, including the new e-Golf.
Based on the high-volume hatchback that recently went on sale in Europe and numerous other global markets, the Volkswagen e-Golf is powered by a 24.2 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery that the maker claims can deliver about 190 kilometers per charge. To help maximize range, even at night, the battery hatchback adopts highly-efficient LED headlamps.
The promised range, incidentally, works out to about 120 miles, or between 33% to 50% more than competing battery-electric models such as the Ford Focus EV, Mitsubishi i-MiEV and the Nissan Leaf. That said, the VW figure uses the European test cycle which can be more generous than what the EPA tests produce in the U.S.
(Click Here for a look at Audi’s high-performance Quattro Sport Concept plug-in.)
The e-Golf’s single electric motor is rated at 114 horsepower and 199 lb-ft of torque, enough grunt to launch the front-wheel-drive battery car from 0 to 100 kmh (0 to 62.5 mph) in 10.4 seconds. The e-Golf has an electronically limited top speed of 140 kmh, or just under 90 mph.
The e-Golf got a head start by using the new MQB architecture that helped VW shave 100s of pounds off the mass of the latest-generation Golf. Even with its 264 battery cells, the electric version weighs in just 3,322 pounds.
The lithium battery, incidentally, was developed in-house by Volkswagen. The German maker also produces the e-Golf’s motor and the single-stage gearbox.
(Battery cars are everywhere at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. Click Here to check them out.)
Depending upon where the VW e-Golf is plugged in, it can be recharged in as little as 8 hours on 240-volt current, while the latest Level III 48-volt DC chargers can give the little battery car an 80% “refill” in as little as 30 minutes.
VW estimates it will take about $4.50 worth of electricity to fully recharge the battery, even with electricity in Germany running more than twice as much as the typical price in the U.S.
The maker hasn’t yet revealed the e-Golf’s price so it’s difficult to guess how long the payback period will be, a reference to the time the savings on fuel would cover the likely cost premium for the battery powertrain.
The second new battery car for the VW brand is the e-Up! That’s an electric version of its microcar four-seater. The e-Up turns out 80 horsepower, and is rated at 12.4 seconds 0 to 100 kmh, with a top speed of 130 kmh, or just over 80 miles an hour.
(Range Rover gets a new diesel-hybrid. Click Here for more on this Frankfurt Motor Show debut.)
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