Volkswagen e-Golf Is Boring, But Brilliant

NOV 23 2014 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 16

 2015 Volkswagen e-Golf

2015 Volkswagen e-Golf

2015 VW e-Golf Interior

2015 VW e-Golf Interior

It’s boring, but brilliant.

That’s how Business Week sums up the Volkswagen e-Golf, but in this case, boring is a positive.

As Business Week writes:

“The E-Golf, meanwhile, doesn’t make much of a statement. In fact, part of its charm is that the “e” features are decidedly low key. Perhaps what’s true of wearable devices such as fitness trackers and smart glasses is also true of electric cars: They will fully arrive only when they stop announcing themselves to the world and just resemble “normal” products. From this perspective, the electric Golf might be downright futuristic.”

Of course, as we all know by now, the electric Golf is virtually indistinguishable from its gas/diesel counterparts:

“The car looks like a regular Golf and has all the German engineering Volkswagen likes to brag about: tidy fit and finish, tight gaps between body panels, and more room than one would expect. It even drives like a regular Golf, particularly between zero and 30 miles per hour, when it’s peppy.”

Business Week constantly describes the various e-Golf features as now standing out, but rather being “normal:”

“Bells and whistles are scarce. The control panel doesn’t fill up with animated leaves and butterflies when the driver pilots with particular efficiency.”

“The Volkswagen’s take on e-monitoring is Teutonic in its simplicity. A single gauge—the analog kind—with a needle tilts into a green area when the brakes are recharging the battery and ticks the other way when one steps on the accelerator.”

The only knock given to the e-Golf by Business Week is its price premium over the gas version of the Golf.

The review concludes with this statement:

“Volkswagen has made the electric car boring, and that’s no small accomplishment.”

Boring isn’t bad then.

Source: Business Week

Categories: Volkswagen

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16 Comments on "Volkswagen e-Golf Is Boring, But Brilliant"

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ffbj
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ffbj

Should be: virtually indistinguishable, as otherwise the thrust of point makes no sense.
Yes, sometimes boring is good.

Lensman
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Lensman
Then /Business Week/ got it wrong. The best selling EVs are those which are noticeably distinguishable from any gas-powered counterpart. The Leaf and the Model S dominate their respective market niches. And it’s been said by many that the GM Volt would sell better if it didn’t share an entire front end with the cheap Chevy Cruz. Perhaps “smart glasses” sell better when they are not noticeably different from regular ones. But perhaps that’s because Google Glass tends to inspire hostility in others because they don’t like the intrusiveness of someone (apparently) videotaping them at close range without permission. I would argue that’s a special case; perhaps the exception which proves the rule? What are the best-selling smart phones? The iPhone and Android phones. They are very noticeably different in appearance from other cell phones. If form should follow function, then the EV should look rather different than the gas guzzler. And look at the evolution of the automobile; did the early “horseless carriages” sell better than the Model T and later cars because those early autos more closely resembled a buggy? Heck no. One reason for the success of the Model T is that it did -not- try to… Read more »
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the problem is that the “best selling EVs” don’t constitute a lot of sales volume within the context of the automotive market. as long as the nissan leaf and tesla model s are the biggest selling EVs, EVs will be a niche segment, because people who are not EV enthusiasts are not going to be willing to make sacrifices just to drive an EV.

BEVs are a very useful platform for refining EV technology, but the future of EV technology is in integrating it with ICE technology (i.e. EREV) so that you largely eliminate gasoline usage for day to day driving and use gasoline for longer distance driving.

Foo
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Foo

Haha… gasoline. That’s funny.

David Murray
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David Murray

This is what I keep trying to tell people. People always ask me “why can’t they make hybrids or EVs that look like normal cars.” I always reply, “They do. But you never see them because they look just like normal cars. And when you look at the sales figures, the ones that sell the best, such as the Prius, have a unique appearance to them!”

Spec9
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Spec9

The Tesla is not very different looking than other cars. There are a number of Audis, Maseratis, and other premium cars it resembles. It is just a good looking car and they went without a fake grille.

MDEV
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MDEV

I think the article meant different UGLY another thing is different beautiful, few EVs are beautiful.

Anon
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Anon

Brilliantly boring and limited US availability, on purpose… 😛

DonC
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DonC

German engineering is a marvel. It has managed to turn an inherently superior electric drive into a crummy ICE drive, thereby delivering a car which is more expensive and more limited — but no better otherwise — than what I could get before.

Is that a dynamic marketing message or what?

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i don’t understand this criticism; i mean, most people who want to drive a car are most concerned about getting to their destination than they are “bells and whistles” that are added for no other reason than the car is an electric car. aside from EV enthusiasts, i would think that most people would prefer a lower price without the bells and whistles.

while it is true that you can get better performance from an electric vehicle, you won’t be getting a lot of range when you are getting all of this thrill driving. given that the car is apparently a BEV, i would think that getting the most range out of the platform is a lot more important than enabling jackrabbit driving antics.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater
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Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

Boring and slow, only available in CARB states. Compliance-mobile.

Kai
Guest

I think the word boring here sounds too hard, because I would rather say that Volkswagen has electric mobility so well integrated into its Fahrzege that it does not really stand ..

Brian Henderson
Guest

“Bells and whistles are scarce. The control panel doesn’t fill up with animated leaves and butterflies when the driver pilots with particular efficiency.”

Guessing Business Week considers the Model S85D as “normal” and “boring”? Not seeing too many pickups featuring these bells & whistles too?

Seems Business Week has a twisted sense of humor. 😉

Matt
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Matt

Funny, the equally “boring” Ford Focus Electric sells hardly any units at all!

Anon
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Anon

Because no CSS and no Cargo Space = No Sales. 😛

Gadge
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Gadge

This statement ‘brakes are recharging the battery’ in the article is misleading. The motor recharges the battery during coasting and the process is called ‘regenerative braking’ which is a bit of a misnomer. The motor slows the car and the brakes at times, but the brakes are not directly involved in producing power.