Volkswagen Magazine

Electrifying Performance

The e-Golf is coming to Canada in 2017!

When it comes to the future of mobility, it’s all about sustainability—being aware of the impact our decisions have on the environment. But the future is no longer just science fiction. It’s reality.

For generations, Golf has been one of the most popular and successful car models in the world. So, it only made sense that it should continue to lead the way in the evolution of driving, with the first purely electrically-driven Golf.

The e-Golf may look familiar—after all, it’s the natural evolution of the vehicle generations of drivers have grown to love—but it’s a whole new Golf, one with great design enhancements.

Form and function have combined to create something entirely new. A new roof spoiler helps add to the dynamic look, but it also ensures more downforce and better aerodynamics. LED lighting—including standard LED headlights and LED tail lights—adds distinctive touches, but also produces more light with less energy. The LED daytime running lights with their signature C shape not only keep occupants safe, they also make the e-Golf a real eyecatcher.

Even more revealing is the relative silence. The e-Golf operates entirely on electricity—which means zero local emissions. But itcomes with no compromises in comfort or driving experience.

The new e-Golf makes a great leap forward in the evolution of driving, bringing the efficiency and sustainability of electric mobility to the class-leading comfort and style of one of VW’s most popular models.

Text Brendan Christie

Under the Hood

VOLKSWAGEN HAS SPENT YEARS developing completely new electric motors that are light, highly efficient and make minimal running noise.

But the e-Golf isn’t silent when it comes to performance. Its state-of-the-art electric drivetrain, with e-motor and single-speed transmission, ensures an energetic drive. It needs just 9.6 seconds to leap from 0 to 100 km/h. And when it comes to staying power, the e-Golf has a range of up to 200 km or more. When you consider that most motorists—80%, in fact—drive fewer than 50 km per day, you start to get a sense of the e-Golf’s capabilities.

Despite its relatively small size, the e-Golf engine is a powerhouse. It generates 100 kW (134 horsepower) and 290 Nm (213 ft-lbs) of torque—and maximum torque is available at any speed, which makes for rapid responses to changing driving conditions.

The Little Powerhouse

POWER IS OF LITTLE USE IF IT’S FLEETING. To date, the knock on electric cars has been their lack of range and relative affordability. But the e-Golf’s high-voltage battery isn’t just reliable, it’s also longlasting. So much so that Volkswagen gave it an eight-year or 160,000 km guarantee.

The e-Golf charges to a full load on a home socket in about 28 hours—perfect if you’re looking to top off the battery after some running around—but that can be shortened to about five hours with the installation of a home Wallbox. With the public Level 3 DC Fast Chargers being installed in more and more urban centres throughout Canada, you can get an 80% charge in approximately half an hour. Heavy investment is especially being made in public charging stations in Ontario. (Visit or for a map of locations near you.)

The battery in the e-Golf was designed to take up minimal space and, in the event of a crash, is fully protected. In fact, safety was foremost in the mind of VW engineers when it came to this design, with systems such as the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, which automatically triggers an emergency brake following a collision.

The e-Golf also takes advantage of driver-adjustable recuperative breaking, which means your battery is recharged a little every time you press down on the brake. The infotainment system will even display how much has been recuperated on a given trip.

Finally, the e-Golf offers a Sailing function. When the driver’s foot comes off the accelerator pedal, the engine is declutched, allowing the vehicle to coast and roll over a longer distance. When the brake, accelerator or gear selector lever is operated, the clutch is re-engaged and engine braking or drive takes effect. That saves even more energy.

No Sacrifice on Comfort

NONE OF THE ADDITIONS on the e-Golf came with subtractions. Inside, there’s the same spacious interior and premium materials— but there are also more cues to let you know this is a new kind of Golf.

The e-Golf’s information display keeps you up-to-date with real-time data about range, battery capacity, recuperation and more. And, perhaps most important for Canadians used to the challenges of winter driving, the e-Golf’s new intelligent heating system uses energy exactly where it is needed to ensure comfort and safety for all passengers.

In fact, the e-Golf is more than ready, willing and able to tackle the sometimes frigid Canadian climate, with standard heated seats, a standard heated windshield—the e-Golf is the only electric car in Canada with this feature, which is far more energy efficient than a traditional fan and blower—the new e-Manager, which can pre-heat your Golf before you head out using power from the mains and not your battery, and a standard heat pump, which allows heat from the outside air and the heat produced by the drive components to heat the interior. As a result, less battery power is required by the electrical high-voltage heater, reducing energy consumption. In fact, the range of the e-Golf with a heat pump is 30% greater than without one.

The future of mobility is about maximum efficiency and innovation—not losing control of the driving experience or making it bland and formulaic. It’s about creating vehicles that interact with the road as well as they do with the environment. It’s really about abandoning nothing—except emissions—in pursuit of cars that can achieve everything we expect of them.

More ways to recharge.
There are plenty of ways to charge an electric vehicle, at home or on the go.

At the heart of every e-Golf is a sophisticated lithium ion battery. For its high-voltage batteries, Volkswagen issues a warranty for eight years or 160,000 kilometres, whichever comes first. During this period, you can charge your battery several thousand times.

The Next Step

The new e-Golf belongs to a long line of electric innovators

WHEN IT COMES TO THE FUTURE OF MOBILITY, It’s one of the curiosities at the AutoMuseum in Wolfsburg. At first glance, it looks like an ordinary first-generation Golf: the characteristic sharp-edged bodywork by Italdesign Giugiaro; the friendly sau- cer-eye headlights. But the real story is under the hood. This 1976 Golf is an electric car—the Golf I CityStromer—fitted out with a 20 hp DC motor and batteries as part of a research project.
This electric Golf is the only survivor of some 20 test cars. It’s a priceless prototype, and a testimony to Volkswagen’s decades of commitment to creating a sustainable drive system for its bestselling compact.

But the Golf I CityStromer was built to drive. The museum piece has an odometer reading of 20,473 km. It was in use for 10 years in the research department before retiring to the AutoMuseum. Despite its modest performance and a battery capacity of about 13.4 kWh—about 37 percent of the capacity of the new e-Golf’s 35.8 kWh battery—its range was surprisingly large. The first electric Golf could cover 50 km at its top speed of 80 km/h. (By comparison, the current e-Golf can accelerate to 150 km/h and has an active range of up to 201 km.)
It had lead-acid batteries installed underneath the floor of the trunk. And while the 75 hp gas engine is missing from the en- gine bay, the gear box was kept for the sake of simplicity after the car was converted. It makes the Golf I CityStromer an electric car with a four-speed manual transmission. By comparison, the new e-Golf has a robust single-speed transmission, so today’s e-car driver no longer has to change gears.
The first electric Golf also needed a power outlet for every recharge. The lead-acid batteries were charged after 12 hours. By comparison, today’s e-Golf with its lithium-ion battery takes about five hours to charge with a Wallbox—and with high-speed DC charging it can reach 80% capacity in about 30 minutes. That was something you could only dream about in 1976.