Although Volkswagen hasn’t released comprehensive information about the electric Golf — after all, it’s still a prototype and isn’t going on sale for another three years — we can give you an outline of its layout and specifications. There are no great shocks (no joke intended).
The Golf’s battery-pack lives variously under the boot floor, under the rear seat and in the centre tunnel between the front seats; it’s provided with an air cooling system. Volkswagen quotes a weight for the battery pack alone of 1545kg; overall, the Blue-e-Motion weighs 205kg more than a TDI Blue Motion fitted with a DSG gearbox, which makes it 1545kg at the kerb. After the boot has swallowed its share of the battery pack, 279l of space is left.
Volkswagen Golf Blue-e-Motion: German Federal Minister for traffic, building and town development Dr. Peter Ramsauer with Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management, Volkswagen A.G., with responsibility for Vehicle Development.
The electric motor and transmission — effectively just a final drive unit doubling as a single-speed reduction gear — share the engine bay with the high-voltage pulse-controlled inverter, 12V electrical system, DC/DC converter and charging module. Volkswagen has combined the power electronics into a compact unit; given the sheer mass of the battery pack, the mass distribution of the car should be close to neutral.
Volkswagen claims a respectable sprinting performance of the electric Golf: a figure of 0-100km/h in 11.8 seconds may reveal little about a petrol-engined car’s driveability, but an electric motor is at its best at low rotational speeds, so performance in town and on country roads should be more than adequate. Motorway performance is another matter, though. Although the claimed maximum speed of the Golf Blue-e-Motion is 86mph, electric motors are none too efficient at sustained high loads, so operating range could suffer badly with this sort of use. Volkswagen quotes a range of 90 miles; the operating cycle isn’t specified.