Volkswagen Announces $2,000 Lower Priced Version Of e-Golf In US

MAR 5 2015 BY JAY COLE 28

The Limited Edition Interior Is Little Changed From The Premium SEL Trim Level

The Limited Edition Interior Is Little Changed From The Premium SEL Trim Level – Cloth Seats Replace “Leatherette”

When the Volkswagen e-Golf first came to the United States we had expected to see a few trim levels of the car, similar to what was offered in Europe.

As it turned out, only the premium, fully loaded e-Golf SEL (details) was available on the debut.  The price?  $35,445

Today however, that changes as VW has announced a somewhat cheaper less expensive model – the “e-Golf Limited Edition model”, priced at $33,450.

Editor’s Note: Using our automaker decoder ring, “Limited Edition” usually means ‘limited to how many we can sell’, so we don’t think anyone should be worried this offering will be available only for a short time.

VW features a national lease deal on both cars:   $299 for the SEL Premium ($2,000 due at signing), and $229 on the Limited Edition.

In most ways, the car is functionally the same: 24.2 kWh lithium-ion battery, 115 hp, 199 lb-ft of torque.

VW even states the same efficiency and range specs on the car:

  • MPGe: 126 city/105 highway – 116 combined,
  •  83 mile EPA range

Although we have to note that amongst the deleted features from the higher SEL Premium model is the heat-pump system – meaning that range will be effected in the base EV outside of moderate temperatures, as the standard unit is much less energy-efficient and will draw more power.

VW notes the other differences between the trim levels, “Changes compared with the SEL Premium models include 16-inch steel wheels in place of aluminum-alloys, halogen instead of LED headlights, cloth in place of leatherette seating surfaces.”

So, is the de-contenting worth saving $2,000?  We think for a lot of customers it will be.  Our only advice to those who live in the northern United States – get the SEL, the more efficient heat-pump system is worth it.

Let's Play Spot The Changes (Limited Edition On Right, SEL On Left)

Let’s Play Spot The Changes (Limited Edition On Left, Premium SEL On Right)

Full VW media press release below:


Mar 5, 2015

  • e-Golf Limited Edition model goes on sale with a starting price of $33,450
  • Drivetrain consists of 24.2 kWh lithium-ion battery and an electric motor with 199 pound-feet of torque; 7.2 kW onboard charger is standard
  • Standard fast charging capability allows up to 80 percent battery charge in 30 minutes
  • EPA estimated fuel economy rating of 116 combined MPGe puts e-Golf at top of the 2015 EPA Compact Size Class
  • A great value, with a host of features that include KESSY® Keyless access with push-button start, navigation system, LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL) with C-shaped light signature, and more

Herndon, VA  – Volkswagen of America, Inc., today, announced that a lower-priced version of the fully-electric 2015 Volkswagen e-Golf will go on sale at participating dealerships. The 2015 e-Golf Limited Edition is priced nearly $2,000 less than its SEL counterpart at $33,450, without compromising performance, quality, or versatility. The e-Golf Limited Edition is also available at a monthly lease price of $229, plus applicable fees.

The e-Golf Limited Edition is built on the same sporty Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) platform as the rest of the award winning Golf family. It is powered by a compact electric motor and a 24.2 kWh lithium-ion battery (built in-house at the Volkswagen facility in Braunschweig, Germany), and offers 115 horsepower and class-leading torque of 199 pound feet.

Changes compared with the SEL Premium models include 16-inch steel wheels in place of aluminum-alloys, halogen instead of LED headlights, cloth in place of leatherette seating surfaces, and deletion of the heat-pump system. Equipment and features that remain unchanged from the SEL Premium model include:

  • DC Fast Charging with the Combined Charging System (CCS) that allows up to 80 percent battery charge in 30 minutes
  • Standard 7.2kW onboard charger
  • 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+”) and three driver-selectable regeneration modes
  • KESSY® keyless access with push-button start
  • Navigation system
  • LED Daytime Running Lights
  • Climatronic® automatic dual-zone climate control system
  • Electronic parking brake
  • Electrically heated windshield
  • Automatic headlights and wipers
  • Rearview camera
  • Front and rear Park Distance Control


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28 Comments on "Volkswagen Announces $2,000 Lower Priced Version Of e-Golf In US"

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Nice. I’m glad to see they are making a less expensive version available. It would be awesome if they could offer a bigger battery pack though. Bumping it up even to just 30KWH would be nice.

Forget the sale price, what are the lease deals for the two trims?

With >150 mile BEVs just around the corner, it would be pretty foolish to outright-purchase a brand new 80ish mile one right now.

The only exceptions I can see are some sort of an expense account, or extremely heavy use expected over the next couple of years.

I wonder if VW is working on their 200+ mile BEV.

(and that’s 200 miles on the US EPA rating)

VW has released their roadmap for this car, and they are working towards a “186 mile” (conveniently, that’s 300km) range by 2018 IIRC.

Where is DaveMart when you need him?

I think Dave Mart has been a persona non grata, around here for some time now.

Yeah, I never really understood the animosity towards him though. He at least backed up his claims/opinions with sources unlike most (myself included at times).

He was a good source of all things VW. He pointed us to an EV roadmap they had published, but I’d be hard pressed to find it now.

Seems like VW (and Nissan) would go for a number that starts with “2”. I think that is a psychological barrier that’s significant, and worth putting the extra engineering into.

GM has said “over 200” and “at least 200” a few times when referring to the Bolt, so I always put 200+. I just hope they actually pull it off. Mark Ruess says “the formula works”, but as most engineers know, what works on paper doesn’t always equate to the real world.

VW’s problem – with the e-Golf anyway – is that they are stuck with the MQB platform for probably 5-6 years. That means that they simply cannot put any more battery volume in that chassis. I think they will get the best capacity they can out of the volume they’ve given themselves. But I don’t think it’s enough to give them a range that starts with a 2.

That said, there are other cars in their lineup. Perhaps they will make a 200 mile Passat EV? Or brand it as an Audi something? I wouldn’t count the whole company out just because the eGolf cannot do it.

Put another way, GM could not build the Bolt on the same platform as the Spark EV. They really need a dedicated EV platform in order to get enough batteries on board.

I agree that being able to market 200+ mile EPA range will be a major selling point.

I hope GM follows through with the Bolt. They touted 40 mile range on the Volt all through development, and ended up with 36. They have probably learned from that experience.

All of these cars that are claiming to compete with Model 3 should consider a larger batter option. It is almost certain the Tesla will offer an upgraded battery ($5k? – $10k?) that will provide closer to 300 mile range.

I think it would be in their interest to offer multiple ranges, and let people buy how much they want (sort of similar to Tesla). Create a design that can incorporate 100 miles, 200 miles, or 300 miles. Then let the customer choose how much battery they want to buy. If they make the packs in 100 mile modules, it seems like it would simplify the design. However, it all comes down to packaging, which is a difficult task, especially w/a mid-size or smaller car.

“200+” is more than a selling point. It’s down right disruptive.

2 types at the BEV crop. Newbies, and ones coming from another BEV. Why wouldn’t the smarter half of this crowd just wait, if they can?

I was referring to the 200+ miles as a major selling point to the customers uninitiated with electric vehicles vs. a vehicle with 186 mile range.

In regards to those in the know, I am in the waiting crowd myself. Most likely, Volt 2.0 lease while I wait for a Model 3 (and hope to not have to buy out the Volt 2.0 while I continue to wait) 😉

Heat pump option seems to be around $2K, using the LEAF as a reference (reality: $3K difference, but there are other extras in addition to the heating system). However, I would strong advice against potential customers on NOT GETTING the heat pump option, i.e. pay the $2K and get the heat pump, unless the commute distance is short like 30mi/day. Here’s why: – $ wise, $2K out of a roughly $38-40K vehicle (with tax, license, dealer fees, etc.) is merely, a 5% difference. When you can afford a vehicle of this price, it’s really nothing. – If one is financing or leasing, you are looking at $40-55/month difference (5/3 years), for a monthly payment of about ~$650/$450/month (no $ down, 60/36 months term). Again, not heck of a lot. The advantage, otoh, is huge. A heat pump takes so much less energy on heating, it can mean charging daily vs charging every 3 days or so, for a daily driving of 30 mi. If you need to charge daily, that would actually mean a possibly need to purchase a Lv 2 charging unit at your garage – which is roughly $1-2K with installation. Most important of all, a heat pump… Read more »

At what point do heat pumps stop working though? In Michigan, it has been negative temps for the last couple months. And when it’s 20+ degrees I don’t even turn on my cabin heating in my Volt. Basically the only time I use the heating is below 15 degrees because the engine is forced on, and I figure I might was well use the exhaust heat.

A 2013 Leaf owner in upstate NY tells me that the efficiency of his heat pump hits unity (i.e. the same as the resistance heater) at about 14F. He also said that below about 35F, its efficiency drops quickly.

In other words, for those of us in ACTUALLY COLD climates, I would recommend AGAINST the heat pump. It will help in some cases, but it will not help in your worst case weather. Therefore, if you cannot make your commute in the dead of winter, it matters not whether you have the heat pump.

Interesting data point, thanks Brian.

My heat pump experiences are limited to the engineering class and personal experience with heat pumps for houses.

Those that were used for houses works great when it is 45-55 degree F and I noticed the efficiency starts to drop pretty fast under 40 degree. That seems to match this data point.

Even though the heat pump still works somewhat under 40 degree, my experiences was that for that temperature range, the additional hassle and wear/tear on the pump isn’t worth the cost of the system over a much simpler resistive heating system.

I also thought LEAF would switch to resistive heating at certain temperature. Does anyone know what that temperature is?

Supposedly the more expensive “VERY NEW” ‘COld Weather’ Heat Pumps truly work down to very cold temperatures. I’ll have to ask some questions at the Home Show this weekend. Or at least find some COP charts.

If this is just a plain old heat pump, then the advice in this article wouldn’t do any good where I live and you might as well just get the resistance heater. The output will decrease with the temperature, and at 40 degrees (which is hot around here) you don’t need any heat anyway. So that at 10 or 20 degrees, the Coefficient of Performance (that’s EER / 3.413) will be 1, and its output would be so miniscule that its a waste.

Pretty much every US model VW EV is “Limited Edition”!

When will VW expand sales to the two states with the greatest EV demand? (Georgia & Washington states have highest per capita sales, but are non-ZEV states). So far no news on when eGolf sales will start.

Truly NOT a “Limited Edition” eGolf, but rather a “Pre-Select Edition”.

I’m with you Brian – I live in Texas and want one.

Can a big dealer here even get one? If they called a dealer in the Northeast and did a swap of some sort? Or are they barred from doing to by VW USA?

What I wonder is, if you bought one in a ZEV state and imported it yourself, could you get it serviced locally?

@ Brian @ Kdwag,

You are certainly correct on those extreme temperature. My understanding – and can be wrong – is that with a heat pump system, it is NOT just a heat pump system, but a hybrid system. Thus, with extreme cold temp, the system will switch to resistive. My assumption is that VW has such design.

Would that be the reason why the NY owner saw the decreased efficiency when temperature got too cold, i.e. his LEAF had switched to resistive heating?

Anyhow, if a potential owner acquires a VW WITHOUT the heat pump, then it’s going to be on resistive heat all the time, even during the relatively warmer winter time for those very cold places, and those that have relatively warmer climates during winter, let alone the not too cold autumn and spring seasons.

For the price reduction vs the benefit, even in very cold climatic regions, excluding the extreme north or south, I still firmly advise against NOT getting the heat pump system.

I certainly hear what you are saying. That other owner is almost definitely experiencing his Leaf switching to the resistive heater. My point is simply that below a certain temperature, the heat pump buys you nothing.

Along those lines, if you are worried about making your commute in the dead of winter, the heat pump will not make a difference (at least in the midwest / northeast winters).

You are absolutely right that it would help in the shoulder seasons. But range will be higher than either way. It would just be that much higher with a heat pump. The difference is whether you can take medium distance trips, and not whether you can make your commute.

I have lived with a Leaf w/o heatpump for 3 years now. Knowing what I know about EVs, I would say that a heat pump would NOT be worth $2k in additional utility to me.

Every situation is different, so we both need to be careful to avoid blanket recommendations.

For anyone who wants a BEV, why buy this one now (with 86 mile range) when you can wait a few months and get a BEV with a 200 mile range for the same price? I have a Nissan Leaf with a 73 mile range, but I got it in 2012 when I had no affordable option with a 200 mile range.

Which 200 mile BEV will be available in a few months?

Ha ha … I hear you. We get these grand promises years out that seem a bit over the top. They can do it for sure, but I guess the real range will be around 150 minimum, and 200 if you really stretch it (I’m talking the Bolt, a Model 3 should be better). Of course, a few months for those is probably a few years in non-compliance states or for a reasonable price tag ($30k).

I think the price on the e-Golf will fall further. It’s a nice car and seems like it fits a nice niche, but with such a price premium (and I’m sorry $2k off is not worth talking about when that represents only a 6% savings) it will be hard to find buyers consistently. I think the few hundred they’re selling now per month is NRE (New Relationship Energy) that will dwindle pretty fast.

Anyway, though I’m philosophically opposed to lease (and cheap too), it would probably make more sense to lease the e-Golf than buy it.

A few months? More like 18-24 months, at best, if not closer to 30 months.

If we are really lucky, Nissan will surprise us with their 2016 model later this year by squeezing an extra 6-12 kW capacity in their existing battery pack. But I doubt it will happen.

Yeah. So far as I know, nobody other than Tesla will be offering a nominally “200 mile” EV for sale this year.

Next year? Well, promises, promises… we shall see what happens.

I am also hopeful for an update to the existing Leaf as a send off… it would also help the used market to thrive as the worn out batteries would get an upgrade when they were replaced. EIther way though… the next gen of these cars is gonna be fun. My wife and I are each driving our own Leafs now… can’t wait to get the newer one ,2016 200 miler, as we pass the 2013 down to the kids.