Mar 222012

Golf Electric

With more than 25 million built in the past five years alone and the third-biggest seller in its near 40 years of service, the Volkswagen Golf is truly a titan of the motoring world. The question is: can a plug-in version of this hugely popular family runaround sell? Well, we should find out very soon.

Volkswagen Golf Plug-In Hybrid Eco Car

Volkswagen Golf Plug-In Hybrid Eco Car

The German automaker says it plans to start commercial production of a plug-in version of the Golf by the end of next year following on the heels of competitors including Audi and BMW who have already announced similar vehicles. For Volkswagen, it’s been a long time coming.

Volkswagen Electric Vehicles

Having already experimented with EVs as far back as the 1980s, the car manufacturer, known for its good value and well engineered cars, has since offered little in the way of electric alternatives. There was the E-Bugster and the E-Up!, showcased a few years ago in Detroit and Frankfurt respectively, but these have remained little more than concept vehicles. The subcompact E-Up! is scheduled to go on sale next year, but only in Europe. Then there is a Touareg hybrid, which was launched last year, and a hybrid Jetta, which is due sometime at the end of this year.

Aside from that, Volkswagen has really only manufactured high-mileage diesel cars in its contribution to commercially available eco-vehicles. In many ways then, it is already playing catch-up. So what can we expect from an electric VW Golf?

Green Volkswagen Golf

All signs are that the vehicle will be very much, well, a Golf, which is perhaps the best news possible. In other words, Volkswagen has decided on the’ if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it’ approach, with some added green for good measure.

Driving Range 94 Miles

From the pictures, it certainly looks like a Golf, but under the bodywork there is set to be a lithium-ion battery weighing in at roughly 95 pounds. It is expected to produce a range of 94 miles per charge, which compares well to other electric vehicles currently on the market. However, it’s yet more proof that that psychologically important 100-mile barrier remains difficult to surpass.

The vehicle is set to be modeled on the next-generation Volkswagen Golf, which is due to be released at the same time. The carmaker has been testing 500 electric versions of the Golf for some time already in a bid to meet its deadline for commercial release.

Plug In Golf Purchase Price

In terms of Germany’s overall green policy, the plug-in Golf looks set to be vital. The government in Berlin has already announced a plan to getting one million electric vehicles on the road by 2020, a target which already looks to be very ambitious. Although the price of the greenest Golf yet remains unknown, based on Volkswagen’s overall retail policy it will surely rank very competitively, making it a key part of Germany’s drive towards drastically reduced vehicle emissions.

Of course, the main problem that electric vehicles have faced, even the award-winning Chevrolet Volt, has been disappointing sales based on an inability to appeal to an electric-weary public. Perhaps the Golf, with its mass appeal, can buck this trend.

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