VW e-Golf Owner Tells How He Went from Range Anxiety Skepticism to Happy Ownership
We have had our VW e-Golf for just over a month now and covered 2000 trouble-free miles. I would say the charging network in the UK is the weakest point. Just now, although, it is improving. Most motorway services have CCS "fast chargers" which have enabled us to do a round trip to Scotland (about 600 miles) although we came across several charge points that were out of service or faulty.
The e-Golf had no problems, just one glitch with a public charge point which wouldn't release our cable connector when leaving. We sorted it remotely via the helpline.
It's a great car: so easy to drive, comfortable and of course very quiet. Best of all is the running costs. Most public charge points are free to use and at home we have Solar PV panels that provide most of the energy needed. That's real emission free motoring.
If you're thinking about VW e-Golf - do it. If you are worried about the residual value - (we were) - finance it on a 3 year lease and hand it back. If you run a business in the UK there are some generous tax incentives too.
Day to day driving of Volkswagen e-Golf is a pleasure. After all, there aren't many times we do over 80 miles a day, so range is rarely an issue. We have had almost 100 miles out of one charge, but that meant staying in Eco+ mode, which really limits performance.
The wife gets much better range than I do, but I can's help enjoying the surge of acceleration, especially from standstill, and driving it hard will wind the range down to somewhere near 60 miles. It's so much fun though pulling away at traffic lights where the torque puts many petrol sports cars to shame.
I wouldn't keep the VW e-Golf as an only car, but as a 2nd family vehicle it's, as we say, "a no-brainer."
Every time we show it to folks, they are hugely impressed and ask lots of questions. I just think it's lack of public awareness that these vehicles (all electric ecars) really exist and are available now, that's not pushing up sales. That and a general resistance to change and skepticism of new technology.
What will make cars like VW e-Golf, Nissan LEAF and Chevy Volt more attractive is the growing public charging network. Although that growth will start to falter unless the existing network is in greater demand - chicken and egg.
The electric car industry is similar to our Solar PV business in the early days and it was only the financial incentives available that increased demand, which then led to increased supply and ultimately drove down costs.
For EV sales to grow, it's essential that governments and the public sector provide grants and funding toward the cost of purchase as well as a continued development of the charging network.
In the UK we have a government "plug-in car grant," which provides 35% (capped at £5000) toward the purchase of electric vehicles, as well as tax incentives, which are vary favorable for business users. They include a 100% capital allowance and a 0% "benefit in kind" tax rate for company car owners. Let's hope our new government can keep this up.
Back to the e-Golf though - the truth was that we were going to wait for the Golf GT or Audi e-Tron plug-in hybrid as we, also, were skeptical about the day to day use and range anxiety. Our accountant told us it would be a greater benefit (that tax allowance) if we could buy during our last accounts year so the plan was to buy the e-Golf and change it for the hybrid when they became available here later this summer. However, now that we have had the car for the last 6 weeks we have got used to planning our journeys a little more carefully and adapting to the range. A quick trip to town now includes parking at the council car park where we can park without paying for the parking or for the electric we use - in effect we are being paid to park.
That and 2000 emission free / expense free miles under our belt - which would have cost probably over £300 in diesel in our old (very old) diesel, means that the VW e-Golf will be staying with us for a while yet.