Volkswagen e-Golf Becomes 2015’s Most Efficient Compact Car


2015 VW e-Golf

2015 VW e-Golf

Let’s see if the readers of InsideEVs can catch what Volkswagen is trying to pull on us here.

Maybe this graphic will help:

Compact EVs

Compact EVs

Here’s the Volkswagen press release touting the best-in-class efficiency of the e-Golf:

Oct 23, 2014

The fully electric, zero tailpipe emissions e-Golf gets top marks from the Environmental Protection Agency

116 combined MPGe puts e-Golf at head of compact electric vehicle (EV) class
MPGe announcement reinforces e-Golf position as a fun-to-drive, no-compromise plug-in vehicle
Fully equipped e-Golf starts at $35,445
Standard fast charging capability can allow 80 percent battery charge within 30 minutes

Herndon, VA – Volkswagen of America, Inc. announced today that the compact, fully electric 2015 e-Golf has been rated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at 126 city, 105 highway, and 116 combined Miles per Gallon of Gasoline Equivalent* (MPGe), and given a range of up to 83 miles. Compared to other compact electric vehicles (EVs), these numbers make the e-Golf the most efficient car in its class for the 2015 model year.

The 2015 e-Golf is Volkswagen’s first fully electric vehicle for the U.S. market. Although Volkswagen has sold more than 30 million Golf models worldwide, this is the first zero tailpipe emissions, fully electric version of the car. It is also part of Volkswagen’s Think Blue® holistic approach to sustainability and efficiency.

The e-Golf brings all the benefits of an electric vehicle to the Golf “fun-to-drive yet practical” formula, forever ending the idea that compact EVs must be bland and focused only on efficiency. The e-Golf adds a compact electric motor and lithium-ion battery (built in-house at Volkswagen’s Braunschweig, Germany facility) to the Golf’s sporty Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) platform. With this modern drivetrain the e-Golf offers zero tailpipe emissions and zero trips to the pump. Depending on driving style, charging behavior, and other factors, the EPA estimated range for the e-Golf is up to 83 miles.

The e-Golf has a 7.2 kW onboard charger as standard equipment, enabling the EV’s battery to be recharged in any of three ways. With the installation of the optional 240-volt wallbox, charging the battery can take less than four hours. The e-Golf also offers a charging cable that can plug into any standard 110/120-volt electrical socket and charge the battery in roughly 20 hours. In addition, the e-Golf comes equipped with a standard Combined Charging System (CCS) which allows the car to use the SAE standard DC fast charging infrastructure (at select stations), bringing the battery’s state of charge to 80 percent in about 30 minutes. Any of these options help provide categorically lower ownership costs than fueling a traditional internal combustion engine.

The e-Golf will go on sale at participating dealerships in select states in November, starting at $35,445 (plus $820 destination and handling). The SEL Premium model features an extensive list of standard equipment, including a 7.2kW onboard charger, touchscreen navigation system, leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, and LED headlights.

About Volkswagen of America, Inc.

Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc., an operating unit of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (VWoA) is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. VWoA’s operations in the United States include research and development, parts and vehicle processing, parts distribution centers, sales, marketing and service offices, financial service centers, and its state -of-the- art manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Volkswagen Group is one of the world’s largest producers of passenger cars and Europe’s largest automaker. VWoA sells the Beetle, Beetle Convertible, CC, Eos, e-Golf, Golf, Golf R, GTI, Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, Passat, Tiguan and Touareg vehicles through approximately 649 independent U.S. dealers. Visit Volkswagen of America online at or to learn more.

*2015 Golf EPA estimates: 126 city/105 highway MPGe. Based on EPA formula of 33.7 kW/hour equal to one gallon of gasoline energy, EPA rated the e-Golf equivalent to 126 MPG measured as gasoline fuel efficiency in city driving, and 105 MPG in highway driving. Actual mileage will vary and depend on several factors including driving and charging habits, weather and temperature, battery age, and vehicle condition. Battery capacity decreases with time and use. Frequent and consecutive high-voltage charging (including DC charging) can permanently decrease the capacity of the high-voltage battery.


This press release and images of the 2015 e-Golf are available at Follow us @VWNews

“VW”, “Volkswagen”, all model names, and the Volkswagen logo are registered trademarks of Volkswagen AG. “Car-Net” and “Carefree Maintenance” are registered trademarks of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.

The 2015 Volkswagen e-Golf will be available only at participating dealers in select states.

Where stated, vehicle range values are forecast manufacturer values for the USA; EPA estimates were not available at time of release. Actual mileage and range will vary and depend on several factors including driving and charging habits, weather and temperature, battery age, and vehicle condition.

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30 Comments on "Volkswagen e-Golf Becomes 2015’s Most Efficient Compact Car"

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If you would source your screen grabs it would help.
However, without digging around to track that down and so come up with comparable kwh/100 mile figures, presumably your beef is that the Nissan Leaf should be taken as in the same class.
In that case:
‘The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has put up official range and fuel economy figures for the 2013 Nissan Leaf. The range (on a 90% charge) is rated at 75 miles. The combined (city and highway) fuel economy is rated at 115 MPGe.

The city-driving fuel economy is rated at 129 MPGe, while driving on the highway is rated at 102 MPGe.

The 115 MPGe rating is 16 MPGe higher than the 2012 Nissan Leaf (99 MPGe).

Last time I checked 116 combined EPA was higher than 115, if only just, so exactly what is the problem?

And why do you allege that VW is trying to ‘pull’ anything, since presumably they aren’t the ones who classify the vehicles as sub compact or compact?

They are using The Leaf is EPA midsize, not compact. So the eGolf is correct.

Comparing a 2015 car that is “not available” to a 2014 and proclaiming victory over the 2015 model year?

There are 117 e-Golfs currently for sale in the US. 3 of my local dealers each have one


Fit EV is rated 118 MPGe.

The Honda Fit EV is discontinued so even if it were in the same class it’s not being produced anymore anyway.

(not that it should have counted in the first place anyway since compliance EV’s suck 😛 )

I don’t see anything wrong with this picture.

It’s just a statement that the e-Golf is most efficient in it’s class, which it is.

There is no 2014 e-Golf for the US and the 2015 FFE has the same mpge as the 2014 FFE.

Nothing to see here people…move on.


I think Volkswagen is correct in “claiming victory” in the compact class but DaveMart is also making a very good point: The EPA is classifying the cars on their website, not the manufacturer.
Of course you can argue if the BMW i3 BEV should be in the “subcompact” class together with the Mitsubishi i-MiEV and the Chevy Spark EV. And if the e-Golf is “compact” together with the Ford Focus EV, why is the Nissan Leaf “midsize” ? Not to mention that the Kia Soul EV and Honda Fit EV are classified as “station wagons”…

As a former i-MiEV and current i3 owner, it would be tough to argue convincingly that both shouldn’t be the same subcompact class because their interior dimensions are almost identical.

LEAF is “midsize” b/c of its trunk size, NOT b/c its passenger interior space.

Both Prius and LEAF “cheat” the EPA rules b/c of the blurring lines between hatch back and station wagons.

By passenger interior space, they are both smaller than typical midsize vehicle. But by “interior space” that includes the “hatch” area, they are both classified as a midsize. Its another government loop hole.

If they are considered as “wagons”, then they will be classifed as “compact” class.

What is a difference between a wagon and hatchback these days?

Well, the paragraph after the asterisk in the press release contains “kW/hour”, which means that whoever wrote it doesn’t understand energy, and therefore should not be considered a reliable source for this information.

But the really weird thing is that on the EPA screenshot, the conversion for the Focus is wrong! 27 kWh/100 mi is 124 MPGe, not 105. How the hell did that happen.

That is the joys of unsourced random screenshots for you, and why if serious discussion is intended sources are given, so that they can be looked at and their assumptions checked.

It is annoying with the lack of sources. Here is the source for that one at least:

So according to Eric VW is corrupting the Government website, which in any case seems to have messed up the Ford’s figures by not putting enough kwh per 100 miles, and there is nothing wrong with the VW figures?

And this is called:
‘what Volkswagen is trying to pull on us here.’

This is lunacy.

Eric obviously is very biased towards Tesla, whether he owns Tesla shares or not. May be, he should just stick to writing about Tesla.

VW golf has some excellent tech in the car body. This is why it got Motortrend 2015 car of the year award.

Haha, that must be it. The real value should be 32 kWh/100 miles for the FFE. 😛

It must have been strange for a Ford that even for a second feel efficient, though it’s just a typo.

The Ford Focus EV 2014 is listed on the Ford US website as getting 110/99 mpge.

Calculating combined mileage from the mpge figures the Ford at 105 takes around 32kwh/100 miles, the VW at 116 takes around 29kwh/100 miles, as shown.

It would therefore seem that it is the Ford figure for kwh/100 miles which is too low, and nothing is the matter with the VW figures.

I don’t about the technical stuff but the following sentence seemed a bit suspicious to me, considering that it seems to indicate they are crowning themselves, like Napoleon did when he proclaimed himself emperor.

The sentence: “Where stated, vehicle range values are forecast manufacturer values for the USA; EPA estimates were not available at time of release.”

Clearly they have broken whole new ground, by seeking to cast themselves in a favourable light.
I have never heard of any other company doing that.
Quite a news story uncovered here.

Well, it’s like there is something wrong with this picture, and it’s up to you to find it was the intent of the article. Is that not correct? Perhaps you are more miffed at the supposed manipulative aspect of that, than the various merits of the car itself.
Of course every car manufacturer wants to cast itself in a good light, as you say, but citing your own and others estimates, and arriving at the conclusion that you are the best is a tad much since they aren’t really real numbers, now are they?

It seems to me like VW is trying to trick consumers into thinking higher numbers is better.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but looking at the kwh/100mi, lower is supposed to be more efficient right? If that’s the case, then the VW e-golf is actually less efficient than the Ford.

In addition, I looked at the efficiency of my Volt and the website says 19kwh/100km which translates to 30.6kwh/100mi. So the 2015 e-golf is no more efficient than my Volt…. which is already handicapped by the weight of the ICE engine.

Nah. Volkswagen have done everything right. The one trying to pull something in this case is Eric.

The Volt is at 35 kWh per 100 miles. So it’s the least efficient of the three. Just as expected considering the extra weight.

Then you have the Ford at 32 kWh per 100 miles.

And the most efficient of those three, as Volkswagen correctly stated, is the e-Golf at 29 kWh per 100 miles.

The infographic above says the ford at 27. And my Volt is 31 under real world driving conditions.

Where did you get your numbers?

I had a look at some of the other Volt owners kwh/100mi usage and some are even getting < 29kwh/100mi. I'm not sure how they do it but that's impressive considering the Volt hasn't really changed much in 4 years. I expected better from VW.

See here:

Yes, most efficient compact car.

AKA slowest compact EV in 0-60mph…

I thought that was the Soul EV?

Is Soul EV considered as “compact” car?

No. According to the EPA website “fuel” the Kia Soul EV is a “station wagon” !

Comparing the FFE with the eGolf is not really that useful from an engineering perspective since they are not really the same generation.

The Focus electric is an older ICE platform conversion available years before the eGolf, which is an all new generation platform design for electric propulsion from the get go. A better comparison will be with the next generation Focus platform (2017/2018), which will also be designed for electric propulsion from day one.

The existing Focus electric is pretty good for a first generation EV used as a learning opportunity. It’s just starting to look a bit long in the tooth now that newer generation EVs with greater efficiency are becoming available. But it’s still good value at $16k (post incentives).