Skip to main content

VW E-Golf to be tested in several US cities

Volkswagen today announced that it will begin a pilot program to test 20 prototype E-Golf electric vehicles in several US cities starting in April.

The testing of the VW E-Golf electrics will take place over a nine-month period in specific cities across the US. The E-Golf pilot program testing cities includes Detroit, San Francisco, and Washington D.C.

The E-Golf looks just like a normal VW Golf, but the car is driven by an electric motor. The motor delivers an impressive 199 ft-lbs of torque. The power for the electric motor comes from a lithium-ion battery with an energy capacity of 26.5 kilowatt-hours and the battery consists of 180 cells. The estimate driving range is roughly 93 miles but VW cautions that will vary on a number of factors such as driving habits, air conditioning, etc.

The vehicle has a number of features that help ensure energy is conserved while driving. The E-Golf can coast whenever the driver releases the accelerator pedal and there are three driving modes the driver can select. There are also three settings for regenerative braking system. Charging is accomplished via a plug connector behind the gas cap on the right rear fender.

Twelve of the E-Golfs will be allocated to special Volkswagen Group employees during the pilot program. By studying E-Golfs use across a wide array of geographical regions, this will allow VW to monitor the effect of climate conditions, different driving patterns, and energy performance on the battery technology. The data and insight gained during the pilot program will be used in the future development of EV technology applications that VW will use on production ready vehicles.

“The Volkswagen brand has shown an undeniable commitment towards investing in technologies that will help improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions,” said Jonathan Browning, President and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America.  “This E-Golf test fleet will provide critical feedback on these vehicles that will prove essential in our sustainability efforts and in the drive towards electric mobility.”

In addition to testing the vehicle itself, users will also test specific services designed for the E-Golf. The 220-volt charging stations will be installed at employees’ homes to charge E-Golfs. Each E-Golf will be delivered with a complimentary iPhone and a dedicated app, which allows the user to check the battery’s charging status, regulate the car’s internal temperature, gauge how much charging time is left, or even remotely start the charging procedure. Pretty cool technology and useful technology!

On top of that VW will be utilizing the internet to make sure the E-Golfs drivers are taken care of. The company will be setting up a website for the E-Golf prototype fleet to support drivers 24/7. This allows drivers to ask questions and share experiences and feedback on the E-Golf as well.

“During this test we will examine in detail all the technical and administrative aspects of typical consumers using electric vehicles on an everyday basis,” said Dr Rudolf Krebs, Executive Vice president and Head of Volkswagen Group E-Traction. “For a successful market launch of electric vehicles, the way that home chargers are handled is very important, along with easy access to public charging infrastructure.”

It is not too far off that all Golfs on our roadways might be E-Golfs.