2015 Volkswagen e-Golf Gets EPA Rated – 83 Mile Range, 116 MPGe

3 years ago by Eric Loveday 62

Official EPA Test Results

Official EPA Test Results

The results are in for the 2015 Volkswagen e-Golf.

According to the EPA, the e-Golf has a rated range of 83 miles, or 1 less than the Nissan LEAF (see EPA chart above for official tests results city/highway/combined for all 2015 Model Year EVs).

In terms of MPGe, the EPA rates the e-Golf at 116 combined, but the breakdown for city/highways is as follows:

MPGe Figures For 2015 Model Year EVs

MPGe Figures For 2015 Model Year EVs

Of note is that the 2015 VW e-Golf’s ratings are a result of testing only in B-Mode (maximum regenerative braking mode).

Note: e-Golf Tested

Note: e-Golf Tested in B-Mode

Most Discernible Way To Tell The Plug-In From The Gasser Is Via The "e-Badging"

Most Discernible Way To Tell The Plug-In From The Gasser Is Via The “e-Badging”

With a base MSRP of $35,445, the VW e-Golf isn’t as cheap as the Nissan LEAF, but it does have a competitive lease rate.

Revealed exclusively to InsideEVs, Mark Gillies, Manager of Product & Technology at Volkswagen of America, tells us the lease deal on the 2015 e-Golf is as follows:

  • $299 Per Month
  • 36 Month Lease
  • 36,000 Miles
  • $2,000 Due At Signing

Vw lists the e-Golf’s “competitive set” as such:

  • Chevrolet Volt
  • Ford Focus EV
  • Nissan LEAF
"Competitive Set" Comparo

“Competitive Set” Comparo

All e-Golfs come fully loaded.  This includes standard CCS.  No other vehicle offered in the U.S. has CCS as standard equipment.

Here is the full e-Golf spec sheet from Volkswagen:

2015 e-Golf Rear Hatch (Seats down)

2015 e-Golf Rear Hatch (Seats down)

Here is the spec sheet as given by VW on the e-Golf:

  • Standard 7.2kW onboard charger
  • Combined Charging System (CCS) that allows 80 percent battery charge within 30 minutes
  • Average range between 70 and 90 miles, depending on driving style and charging behavior
  • Class-leading 199 lb-ft of torque, with 115 horsepower
  • Largest interior space in a compact EV—an impressive 93.5 cubic feet, same volume as Golf
  • Versatile cargo area, with 22.8 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats; 52.7 cubic feet with seats folded
  • Three driving profiles designed to preserve energy (“Normal”, “Eco”, and “Eco+”)
  • Three driver-selectable regenerative braking levels
  • 5.8-inch touchscreen navigation system and infotainment center
  • Bluetooth® technology
  • SiriusXM® Satellite Radio
  • Automatic Post-Collision Braking system
  • Leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • LED headlights
  • Bespoke 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels
  • Keyless access
  • Heatable front seats
  • Rearview camera; and front and rear Park Distance Control

Lastly, and this may be a deal-killer for some, the VW e-Golf’s battery pack is air-cooled, same as the Nissan LEAF.

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62 responses to "2015 Volkswagen e-Golf Gets EPA Rated – 83 Mile Range, 116 MPGe"

  1. Rudy Clarke says:

    Ahh, the chickens have come home to roost!! I called VW on this BS when they were shouting from the roof tops how the e-Golf would have a class leading 11 kWh/100 km energy consumption as if the LEAF and FFE were that far away. All metrics are marginal, range; MPG-e and energy consumption – duh??

    Eric, please update the Plug-in Comparison list link, it’s starting to look dated. With information on the e-Golf, Soul EV and others that have been announced and tested, including the LEAF being quoted at 76 MPG-e is ancient dude??

    1. Spec9 says:

      It should come to no surprise that the laws of physics apply to VW like they apply to everyone else.

  2. danpatgal says:

    Because CHAdeMO is so much further developed with a fair number of stations even in odd places like Central Pennsylvania, getting a car with CCS seems like going backwards.

    I do like the relatively good cargo space available in the e-Golf, but I guess it won’t be much better than the Soul, which also has CHAdeMO and a longer range. I like having choices and I guess there is a pretty loyal following of VW, but we’ll have to see if it translates into sales of the e-Golf.

    1. Spec9 says:

      Here is the thing about the DC fast-charge standards war.

      Chademo-has more charging stations and more cars on the road right now. But it has fewer auto companies backing it (Basically all the Japanese makers plus KIA/Hyundai)

      SAE-CCS – has more auto companies backing it (GM, Ford, Chrysler/Fiat, BMW, VW/Audi/Porsche, Mercedes-Benz . . . basically all US and German auto makers)

      I just wish they would resolve the stupid war with one or the other but that doesn’t look likely right now. I think SAE-CCS is the better bet . . . more backing. Chademo does have lots of cars out there now but basically all Leafs & a few iMiEVs. And they are being hurt by the fact that Chademo members Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai seem to be all betting big on hydrogen fuel cell cars.

  3. mrenergyczar says:

    Air cooled, ouch…

    1. DaveMart says:

      There is nothing wrong with air cooling done properly.
      I like the ‘Beetle’ retro chic about it! 😉

  4. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

    What a turkey!

    1. DaveMart says:

      Why? Because is it not 0-1,000,000 mph in 2 seconds?

      1. Andrew K says:

        Because we were expecting it to be better than the Leafs range. Hoping. And it looks so good, which is to say so normal. It is a real shame that the e-Golf has to be just average.

        1. DaveMart says:

          I don’t know why you would expect that.
          If you wanted an out of the ordinary petrol car, you would not buy a Golf.

          This is a Golf powered by electric, and does a good job of providing the same thing with a different drive.

          1. DaveMart says:

            BTW, there is a very clear road map for increasing the voltage and hence the range of the E-Golf, and it looks as though they may be able to do that relatively swiftly.

            VW tend to be cautious in their forecasts, and lately they have been saying that they may be able to go up to 36Volt within a couple of years or so.

            That would be around 150 miles or so on the EPA.

            1. Bill Howland says:

              I would guess, since VW is nearly the largest automotive manufacturer, that if they plan on selling many of these things, then the key metric will be the price.

              Being in the states, I’m of course interested in the MSRP, and, what dealers in the real world will let them go for.

              You would think, as others have indicated, that this car is basically a “ME TOO!”, that they would have to competitively price this vehicle if they care to sell to anyone other than VW diehards.

              What a far cry from when VW disparaged hybrids, pluginhybrids, and bev’s….

              Why did they have to send a german EV hater over here to be head of cadillac, especially since he’s too snobish to live near Detroit?

      2. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

        Because it’s hardly better if at all than the years-old Leaf. Haven’t they learned _anything_ about air-cooled battery problems from Nissan’s experience? The jury’s in, and newsflash: you need to water cool your batteries in EV applications.

        Half-hearted and irrelevant.

        1. DaveMart says:

          Why would the range be better until they have access to better batteries?

          As for the cod analysis of the battery cooling, perhaps the Leaf’s troubles in Arizona alerted the VW engineers to that, and you never know, they may even have tested their system:

          http://insideevs.com/volkswagen-follows-nissan-decides-wo-go-air-cooling-e-golf/

        2. RedLeafBlueLeaf says:

          We don’t know if that’s true. Yes, the 2011 and 2012 LEAFs did experience horrible battery degradation in hot climates. But that was one type of battery chemistry.

          We know that Nissan issued a new “lizard” battery with the 2015s that supposedly addresses this, but we have no real world data. We also have had “leaks” from inside Nissan that their engineers warned about the battery chemistry in 2010 and asked for 2 more years to get the batteries right. We have a lot of speculation that the “lizard” battery was actually issued earlier than 2015 – to some or possibly all 2013 and 2014s – and we know that there was a significant change to 2013 batteries because any 2011 or 2012 getting a replacement battery requires an adaptive harness.

          What we lack is real world data on the 2013-2015 LEAF batteries. Interestingly, at this point in 2012 we had a mountain of user data on the 2011s because users were sharing that info at MNL and elsewhere in response to losing capacity bars – but almost no one with a 2013 or later has yet reported a lost capacity bar.

          All of this suggests that it is too soon to conclude that all EV batteries of all chemistries will degrade without a TMS.

          1. Jay Cole says:

            Just to wade into this, AFAIK the “lizard” battery went into production in Q1 2014, meaning that some 2014s would have it (although production end very, very early on the 2014 ~ April as I recall).

            What we know for sure, is that it is in all 2015s. As for real world data, we just have to wait.

            As a sidenote to that, I personally got a “too good to be true” trade-in value on a 2011 LEAF and pulled the trigger on a 2015…of which I drive a lot, about 2k a month. So I can relate some real-world data once I pre-maturely age it some more,lol.

            1. Josh Bryant says:

              I am not sure if you are the best test case for the LEAF Jay. Last I heard, you were still at full capacity on the 2011 after tons of miles.

              Why don’t you ship that 2015 down here to Houston. I’ll drive it 75 on the highway in 110 degree heat w/ some quick charging. See what that lizard can do…

  5. Assaf says:

    Eric, is it offered nationwide?

    If yes, then good news overall. Americans who don’t like how the Leaf looks but want to try a BEV, will now have both the FFE and the e-Golf for affordable options.

    To those who Pfft the e-Golf, you are forgetting that this is the 3rd-best selling car of all time. So having a viable e-version of it is huge. If Americans don’t like it – it’s already selling pretty well in Europe.

    1. Aaron says:

      No, it’s not available nationwide… yet. Sometime mid-2015 according to the VW guy I spoke with last week.

      Glad I didn’t wait for it. I pulled the trigger and got a Nissan LEAF this weekend. 🙂

      1. pjwood says:

        ..and with that he updates the avatar. Congrats.

        1. Assaf says:

          @Aaron,

          Thanks for the info and I second your congrats. Last night we’ve had a closing-a-circle of sorts, coming to QC at the Nissan dealership when we got our first Leaf. We were only there once before, to get that Leaf, and it was also a Sunday night some 2 years ago.

          Symbolically, there was someone there topping off the Leaf he just got (a red SL), chatting with the salesman whom I recognized as the one who won Nissan’s global prize for Leaf-selling. I told him how in August 2012 they had only 1 Leaf of each color there, and hardly knew anything about them. He chuckled and said he got there a month later as a Leaf specialist, and immediately told them to order 40. Indeed, the dealer lot was practically paved with Leafs.

          To circle back… 80-mile BEVs regardless of maker, are great commmuter-plus cars. I’ll be elated to get a 120-mile BEV and even a 200-mile one, but those 80-mile babies will continue to offer great value at a small footprint, for as long as the tech/price tradeoff doesn’t obsolete them.

  6. pjwood says:

    Imagine an e-Golf being your first trip down electric lane, and hearing about this great “Plug Share” app. Then, learning about how all those amber Quick Chargers aren’t for you. Ouch.

    At least they gave it 7.4kw A/C, and normal 205mm tires. But, then they say:

    -“Class leading 199 lb-ft torque”
    -They list the Volt among three, in class (ok, “competitive set”).
    -The Volt has 273 lb ft of torque.

    nice.

    1. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

      Given its battery, it really needs 150kW of motor, but given its lackluster cooling solution, it might not have been doable :/

  7. Harold FFE says:

    The CSS charger should be deployed by all VW and Audi dealerships. 7.2Kw is 240V at 32 amps, HCS-40 form Clipper Creek just got that bump to provide a full 7.2KwH delivery for $495.
    The big reason to try the Golf is fit. at 6’7″ the golf is a very comfortable car, with room still behind the driver. It will be very functional easily trumping the FFE ( I leased one) for space and utility. Styling in my book is very personal. I didn’t like the leaf for reasons including styling.

    205 tires and good torque are going to make this a blast to drive in the twisties, if the spring rates are GTI like.

    H

  8. leafer says:

    Is the pack air cooled or not cooled ?
    latest word is no active air cooling at all
    just like the Leaf
    basically a sealed battery box

      1. Josh Bryant says:

        Thanks for the link Dave. The key words in there are “without a cooling system”.

        As leafer stated above, the LEAF is not “air cooled”. It has no cooling mechanism, just passive dissipation of heat.

        Active cooling can use either air or liquid as the heat transport fluid. Porsche is renown for their actively air cooled ICEs.

        Having no cooling system at all is the real problem for extreme heat climates (like the one I live in).

        1. DaveMart says:

          The VW engineers may possibly have screwed up all sorts of things, but I would be absolutely astonished if they have screwed up hot climate degradation.

          The issue is too ‘out there’ for passively cooled batteries, and they will have tested and tested again.

        2. Spec9 says:

          Didn’t Nissan add a fan to the Leaf battery pack for a little bit of heat dissipation? Or was that just the eNV-200?

  9. >competitive lease rate

    I’m excited enough about VW joining the EV party that I put the e-Golf on the cover if ECI magazine, but I wouldn’t call a $100, 50% premium “competitive” at this stage. That’s $3,600 more than the FFE, Fiat 500e, Leaf, etc (often even the Volt now if you look hard)

    I would strongly consider the e-Golf and Soul EV over the FFE because of fast charging, but $3,600 gives me a lot of other options. That’s the entire payment on a Smart gas version, for comparison.

    1. Ron says:

      Because the US e-Golf is the SEL loaded model, you have to normalize for things that aren’t in the competitors. When I did this for the i3, I found the i3 MSRP price was 8000 more.

      I had to add in to the i3 MSRP CCS charging, parking assist, heated seats, LED etc. Then there were intangibles like 2 full electric window rear doors, 40% more cargo space, being able to see the hood, 5 passengers, etc

      Ron

      1. Ron says:

        Also, for me, leatherette seats are a big plus. They’re a premium interior, and a web search shows very good comments about looking and feeling close to leather.

        Additional intangtibles include partial electric front seats, SIRI radio. You have to guess at the $ value of these. After doing that, I’m guessing the e-Golf MRSP is 10,000 under the i3 and I’ll bet also under the Leaf.

  10. Kaleb says:

    VWs have horrible electrical systems, so I hope they did some things differently there. I like the way it looks and it ought to handle really nicely, but the range is a disappointment. I won’t say any EV “needs TMS,” but I hope the cell chemistry is heat tolerant.

    Regarding 2013+ Leaf batteries, there is no noticeable degradation in my 2-year old 2013 Leaf; I’m getting the same number of miles to low battery warning that I’ve always gotten. 2013+ shouldn’t be compared to 2011-2012 models because the batteries are not the same.

  11. Shows how much the Germans are faking their own NEDC tests.

    NEDC Leaf: 15 kWh/100km
    NEDC eGOlf: 12.7 kWH/100km

    Leaf needs 18% more energy

    EPA Leaf: 30 kWh/100m
    EPA eGolf: 29 kWh/100m

    Leaf needs 3.5% more energy

    1. DaveMart says:

      The testing regime for all cars in Europe is screwed up, not just electric

      Most of the supposed gains in efficiency to meet regulations have been on paper, just ducking under in test conditions.

      From memory the average difference against real world consumption has now increased to 38%!

      As the proud owner of a Hyundai rated at ‘up to’ 65 miles per imperial gallon, and which has never, ever, got more than 45mpg I can confirm that.

  12. I really like the driver switchable regen – and especially the default mode of coasting.

    I like the all LED lights. And the heated front seats.

    Are the rear seats heated? Is the windshield defroster directly heating the glass?

    I am a bit surprised the range is 1 mile less than the Leaf, and not 5-8 miles more. The e-Golf has a lower Cd than the Leaf.

    We just started a 3 year lease on a 2015 Leaf S, by the way, which has heated rear seat, heated steering wheel, and heated side mirrors.

    1. Brian says:

      Yeah, I thought the same thing. But the eGolf’s highway range is 1.2 miles MORE than the leave, while the city range is 3.1 miles LESS. To me, this implies better aerodynamics, but lower drivetrain efficiency. Maybe it’s a result of solely relying on B mode for the test?

      1. DaveMart says:

        Since it comes in at 3,090 lbs, around 300 lbs less than the Leaf, the lower city range is even more weird.

        1. Ron says:

          The e-Golf curb weight is 3391 lbs, not 3090. I emailed VW that their 1/25 press release of 3090 lbs didn’t sound right when compared to the i3. They finally acknowledged it was an error and corrected it to 3391 lbs in their 8/25 price announcement

          Ron

          1. DaveMart says:

            Many thanks Ron!
            You live and larn!

    2. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

      Defaulting to ‘coast’ is a sop to traditional driving feel, once you’re used to proper EV regen, going back is pretty jarring.

      That said, in icy conditions, getting negative torque steer can also be scary.

      1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

        I’m not sure you understand. When he says coasting, he’s talking about _gliding_ (or sailing, as the Germans call it). That is, it has a mode where taking your foot off the go pedal will not even use regen to provide fake drag.

        While PEVs can allow one-pedal driving, if ou’re a hypermiler:
        – you don’t brake much at all anyway
        – braking on the go pedal means less control of acceleration.

  13. Spec9 says:

    Ugh . . . the ~83 mile Econobox EV segment was already overloaded . . . and VW & KIA just added to the pile. I guess they did bring some new tweaks . . . but we really need SOME VARIETY.

    More range! Different body styles other than the economy hatchback! (And the KIA BRICK was a step backwards, IMHO)

    There are still no plug-in SUVs, CUVs, convertibles, sports cars (other than the Model S that is out of production), no mini-vans (eNV-200 coming soon hopefully), pick-ups, etc.

    1. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

      No kidding! Compliance cars meh. Only one remotely interesting to me is the Spark, and RAV4EV or Merc B-class if they had DC charging.

      1. Ocean Railroader says:

        What’s bugging me about these stupid 80 mile range cars is that there are still no quick charger systems to use them. At the same time these 60 to 80 mile cars have been in production for almost six years and there is not really any improvements in range to say 120 miles.

        1. DaveMart says:

          Its difficult to have a high charge rate on a small battery, the Kia pack is the first one really able to handle it.

          At the end of the day they are still inadequate for driving any distance anyway.

          Expect a lot of relatively fast chargers to appear as soon as battery capacities increase enough to both provide more realistic long range and take the quick charge more easily.

          Around 2016 seems likely.

  14. EVer says:

    Yawn

    another car i would never consider

  15. EVer says:

    Voltswagen > Volkswagen

  16. mskz06 says:

    Nissan Leaf is NOT air-cooled. Just a sealed battery pack that relies on heat transfer from the battery chassis to the ambient air (no heat exchanger whatsoever!)

    ACTIVE cooling- using refrigeration cycle(AC) to cool battery pack. Could use air or liquid for the heat transfer medium.

  17. Bloggin says:

    That’s a whole lot of EV spreadsheet work not to include the Focus Electric in any of them.

    But it seems VW is going the cheap route and offering an unprotected battery pack in their EV. While offering liquid cooling for the battery in their Golf plug-in hybrid.

    Which means we should also expect an upcoming battery capacity warranty, battery lease program and battery replacement cost offering.

    If anyone learned anything from the Leaf battery experience, this will be a ‘lease only’ vehicle.

    But yikes, it’s $100/mo more than the comparably equipped Focus Electric, and about the same as a Leaf SL or SV whichever one is a higher trim level.

    1. DaveMart says:

      The PHEV is set up for high performance, so they are stressing the battery more and need liquid cooling.

      They have set up the E-Golf for lower performance and less stress.

  18. Ron says:

    The BMW i3 epa is 81 range and 124 mpg. Considering it has an aluminum frame and carbon body, weighs 750 lbs less than the e-Golf, is much smaller with 40% less cargo space, and you can’t see the hood, I think VW did wonders with the e-Golf.

    My wife hates the look of all the others, especially the i3. After 50 years, I’ve learned to do what I’m told. So I’m buying the e-Golf if VW ever gets around to making them available

    Ron

    1. Bloggin says:

      The i3 also has a smaller 22kWh battery pack. Based on the size of the battery pack and the EPA range of 81 miles, the i3 is at 3.68 miles per kWh.

      The e-Golf with a larger 24.2kWh pack and EPA 83, offers 3.42 miles per kWh.

      Compare that with the 24 kWh pack of the Leaf and the 84 mile EPA range and 3.5 miles per kWh.

      Then there is the Focus electric with a 24 kWh pack, 76 EPA range and 3.3 miles per kWh.

      With the difference being that the Leaf increased it’s range by opening up the full capacity of the battery(with a warning), while the Focus Electric still holds back about 16% for safety and longevity of the battery pack.

      So the question is how much if any of the battery pack is VW and BMW holding back which has a big impact on the pack size vs total range.

      1. DaveMart says:

        Good post.
        I suspect that both have been more conservative than Nissan, which partly explains VW’s confidence about battery life even in high temperatures.

        VW talks about the low stress on the battery being why air cooling is enough.

      2. Ron says:

        The i3 usable is 18.8 of the 22 total (I’ve also seen 21.8 total

        I’ve never seen a usable number for the e-Golf, although I’ve searched for it

        VW is giving an 8 year 70% warranty. Still it would be good to know the usable to be able to compare it to the i3

      3. ELROY says:

        Are you sure the FFE has a 24kwh battery? Mine had 20kwh usable when it was new.

        1. Unplugged says:

          The Focus Electric battery size is officially 23 kWh.

          1. Unplugged says:

            BTW, no manufacturer that I know of publishes its “usable” kWh. The official size of any battery is its full unrestricted size.

  19. Mr. M says:

    Just to compare Leaf and eGolf. The ADAC (german car club, rates all vehicles, test results fits better than NECD, more realistic values) rated the two vehicles with:

    Consumption (City/Country Road*1/Highway):
    Leaf*2: 13,4/14,6/19,1 kWh/100km
    eGolf: 11,1/14,3/22,0 kWh/100km
    (i3: 13,3/14,2/24,3 kWh/100km)

    Which is in Wh/mile
    Leaf: 214.4/233,6/305,6
    eGolf: 177,6/228,8/352,0

    So driving fast the Leaf is better, up to 62mph the eGolf consumes less.

    *1:Country Road speed limit is 62mph here.
    *2:They probably tested the Leaf 2012 Version i don’t know if the consumption changed for MY 2014/2015.

  20. Ron says:

    There’s some good info here. I invite all who are not members to join the e-Golf forum
    http://www.myvwegolf.com/forum

    There’s been only 30 members for months now and few posts. The knowledge here belongs in a forum where you have structured topics and a search engine

    Ron

  21. Ron says:

    One thing I can’t figure out is how the e-Golf gets the same or a little better range than the BMW i3 when:
    1. It’s 24.2 battery is only 11% bigger than the i3’s 21.6
    2. It carries almost 30% more weight 2634 lbs versus 3391 lbs. 757 lbs more

    One battery expert said the i3 battery is state of the art nickel-cobalt-manganese solid core fusion welded aluminum frame.
    http://ae-plus.com/features/volkswagen-e-golf/page:2
    The e-Golf appears to use the same technology so the battery can’t account for it, and I doubt aerodynamics could either.

    I trust it’s not due to making most of the 24.2 usable.

    Ron

  22. Maximus says:

    This is the second best looking pure EV on the market behind the Tesla. Nice subtle look but still distinguishable from an EV. For me the Plug-in E-tron more fits my lifestyle, but this would be a close second.