Volkswagen has resisted the temptation to offer special sales incentives with the all-electric Golf and instead will sell it like any other car.
That means there will be no battery-hire scheme like that offered by Renault with its electric models, and no system of credits giving owners access to combustion-engined cars for longer trips, which are available with BMW’s i range.
First deliveries of the e-Golf will begin at the end of this month. Private buyers can get it for £25,845 after the Government’s £5,000 low-CO2 grant, or for £229 a month on a PCP plan. There will also a lease plan for business users, although rates have not yet been announced.
“Customers are more likely to be fleets, as with the rest of the Golf range, but sales will probably be in the hundreds rather than the thousands,” VW says. “All we are saying is that it will be bigger than the e-up! [the battery-powered version of VW’s smallest car which went on sale in January] and we estimated annual volumes of 250 for that.”
VW claims that the e-Golf is arriving at just the right time, with a steady increase in the number of public fast-charge points. “It’s coming in as the infrastructure is starting to take shape. Fast chargers are the crucial thing,” VW says.
The e-Golf can be charged to 80 per cent of capacity in just 30 minutes from a fast charger, or to full capacity in eight hours. With a standard domestic plug a full charge takes 13 hours. The batteries are covered by an eight-year or 99,000-mile warranty.
VW has a link with British Gas to provide a free home charger, including installation, and also has a deal with Ecotricity to offer its EV customers low-cost carbon-free electricity at home.
Dealers also offer discounted rates on car hire from Europcar if owners need something with a longer range than the e-Golf’s claimed 118 miles.
The e-Golf is based on the combustion-engined Golf SE, but with additional equipment. This includes two-zone climate control and sat-nav with additional range information and the option to charge the car remotely using a smartphone.
Owners can choose between three levels of brake energy recovery to charge the car on the move, and three driving modes which adjust the performance levels and potential range.
The e-Golf is being sold through the same 24 EV specialist dealers in high-population areas who were entrusted with selling the e-up!