Feeds

back to article Stalwart hatchback gets a plug-in: Volkswagen e-Golf

Of all the electric cars I've driven, the latest eco-friendly VW Golf is the one that feels most like a normal auto – that just so happens to be silent and has a stack of batteries where the spare wheel would go. Volkswagen e-Golf Goodbye GTI, hello Volkswagen e-Golf While the vast majority of electric cars make a feature of …

JDX
Gold badge

Nice apart from the range

Are e-cars getting shorter ranges rather than longer these days? It almost seems that way, akin to modern smartphones. I mean sure you buy this for nipping around but it's not a tiny city-car and £30k just to nip to Tesco is rather a lot.

With such a short range, even short trips are surely a problem because it takes so long to charge up... "sorry I can't come out tonight, I went to the bank AND the post office already"?!

10
0
Silver badge

Re: Nice apart from the range

"Are e-cars getting shorter ranges rather than longer these days?"

Almost certainly. On a G-Wiz, which is essentially a wendy house on bike wheels, all of the battery capacity went to traction. On this Golf, you can see there's a pretty fitted satnav and aircon, if there's an option of heated windscreen (itself a monster energy hog) I would reason there's semi-respectable audio, electric windows, central locking, and it looks in the photos like it has the full suite of airbags and sensors. So well done VW for that bit. I really like the idea of an EV that isn't a hair shirt experience, is comfortable, well equipped and doesn't run on solid tyres...

...but the worrying comments about range suggest that the answer to the question "are we there yet?" remains a firm no. I would have thought that fast swappable batteries and 250 mile range would have made all the difference, but sadly the budget that might have achieved that was spent making the under-bonnet look as though there's a combustion engine in it.

6
0
Bronze badge

How long is the battery warranty

Was 100k miles too hard to guarantee - 99,360 miles is all we can offer, those extra 640 miles really do the damage...

11
0
Silver badge

Re: How long is the battery warranty

I imagine the guarantee is for 160,000 km. Someone has taken that number and turned it into miles using 1.61 km = 1 mile, rounded it down to get 99,360 and then someone else has converted it back to km using the exact factor of 1.609344.

The batteries have an eight-year or 99,360 mile (159,904km) guarantee.

13
0
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: How long is the battery warranty

"99,360 mile (159,904km) guarantee"

Smells of conversion using an approximation followed by reconversion with an exact ratio

2
0
Silver badge

Re: How long is the battery warranty

"Smells of conversion using an approximation followed by reconversion with an exact ratio"

Or smells of a clattering noise as the battery falls out the bottom of the car at 99,360 miles...

More seriously, what is the detail of the warranty? Most rechargeable batteries go off over time, so presumably what's being guaranteed is some percentage of the original range. With such a low starting range, and the need for a few miles contingency at all times if you're getting even 80% of the original range, then you're not going to be driving much in the countryside. Incidentally, the warranty is a bit of a crap deal - rather than having them promise me what amounts to a 95 miles range (after contingency) in five years time, I'd rather have (a) swappable batteries in some standard format, and (b) electrical control gear capable of managing a range of likely voltages and capacities, thus enabling a replacement of the batteries with something better in a few years time if better technologies become available.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

We are all going to love...

...it when the driver engages the regenerative braking and the stop lights come on every time the "throttle" is released. Still, it should stop tailgating :-)

4
0
Stop

Re: We are all going to love...

Every electric Golf will end up with a collection of five-ring dents on the boot.

18
1
Silver badge
FAIL

Re: We are all going to love...

If you're referring to Audi, that'd be four rings. Or would every E-Golf be tailgated by the International Olympic Committee?

27
0
Silver badge

Re: We are all going to love...

If you're referring to Audi, that'd be four rings. Or would every E-Golf be tailgated by the International Olympic Committee?

If you get Olympic-ring dents in the back of your car, it's only a matter of time before the IOC sends round the trade-mark enforcers to nail your head to the floor.

10
0

Re: We are all going to love...

Audis are typically driven so fast that during a collision an extra ring emerges from quantum vacuum fluctuations. I'm not quite sure which new branch of quantum mechanics this falls under, there seems to be a new one every week at the moment.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: We are all going to love...

I think VW has a good idea in offering a varying regen modes and having the lights come on in the aggressive modes.

I have a Volt (ex-pat in the USA) and believe me when I say that if you put it in Low the regen braking is aggressive. It allows for one-pedal driving but given typical driving behavior having the brake lights come on when you lift off fully could be helpful at times. One US Volt driver even got ticketed while driving in Low because his brake lights weren't coming on.

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: We are all going to love...

"...it when the driver engages the regenerative braking and the stop lights come on every time the "throttle" is released. Still, it should stop tailgating :-)"

Tesla lights do this as well (on the S, not the roadster) since to slow down that hard on a normal car you'd have to hit the brakes. At a measured 40kW of regen braking it's actually quite significant. It's a good idea to have the brake lights come on when you start slowing down fast, whether you're heating up bits of disposable material or refilling the "tank" whilst you do it.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: We are all going to love...

When I learnt to drive, I was taught to downshift to reduce speed. This doesn't activate the brake lights either but does cause a fairly dramatic reduction in speed. As I drive a fairly battered Defender this does indeed discourage tailgaters.

However the best vehicle for discouraging tailgaters I've ever owned was an ex-Army FFR Series III Lightweight Land Rover, complete with switch for (sadly disconnected) infra-red headlights. This switch was under a safety cover. There was a good reason for this; the army had reasoned that if you were in a position where you needed IR headlights, you probably didn't want any other light giving the vehicle's position away so switching from normal to IR killed every light on the vehicle. So if I found myself on a winding road with a muppet in a corporate BMW (which it tended to be before Audi became trendy) sitting 6 inches off the tow hook I have been known to flick the switch to IR and apply the brakes just hard enough to take 10mph off. Funnily enough they always used to keep their distance after that....

0
0
Silver badge

No spare wheel?

What happens when you get a puncture then?

Perhaps it is another £500 for run-flay tyres?

As with other posters, the range is abysmal. not enough to allow me to visit the In-laws. Oh Wait... maybe it does have an advantage after all.

6
2
Bronze badge

Re: No spare wheel?

Not having a spare wheel is getting more and more common, especially in cars a bit smaller than the Golf. Mine comes with a tube of crap to squirt into the wheel and breakdown assisstance. When I got a flat tyre, I realised the tube of crap said it was guaranteed to get the car 100 metres. The guy who turned up from the AA used a bigger tube of crap and told me I could drive home on it (3 miles), but that I should then call out a roving tyre replacement company to replace the tyre.

So I was an hour late home one evening and had to get up an hour early the next morning. That's a trade off against changing to a spare wheel (15 minutes for an amateur?) and then still having to get the tyre replaced on the proper wheel.

Not sure it's much different in the end.

5
0
Silver badge

Re: Not sure it's much different in the end.

Guess it depends on whether you're 3 miles from home or 300. (If your car isn't electric, obviously.)

1
0
Bronze badge

Re: No spare wheel?

I'd imagine exactly the same as with the many modern cars that come without a spare - a can of squirty puncture fix stuff to get you to the nearest tyre repair place.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: No spare wheel?

What happens when you get a puncture then?

<mode="Captain Obvious">You get a flat. </mode>

When was the last time you had a puncture? Mine was eight years ago. On a motorcycle. The one before that was also on a motorcycle. And the one before that too. Note that motorcycles aren't known for their spare-tyre-carrying-capability. So that's carrying a can of gunk (which are usually shit) and a tyre pump, or a phone to call roadside assistance with. Who tend to start with a can of gunk too, only a somewhat better grade of gunk, but they also have a compressor to top up the tyre after the gunk has done its job. These options are equally available to the spare-wheel-less car driver.

3
3
Angel

Re: No spare wheel?

Is a POI tyre repair layer provided on the SatNav for this purpose or do you need to prepare a map before you drive off?

0
0
Silver badge
Meh

Re: No spare wheel?

What happens when you get a puncture then?

I suppose you use a canister of foam they provide. My Jazz has that although there at least a spare is an option. Still - in over 25 years of motoring I've never had a puncture and the only times I've had to inflate a tyre was when I (a lot younger) clipped a curb and let some air out and when a valve developed a fault. In the latter case it was a very slow leak so I just had to top it up once or twice a week until I had the time to get it replaced.

I'm not saying a spare tyre isn't nice to have - but I don't think it's essential equipment that some would claim.

But yeah, the range is the killer for me. I'm surprised it's that bad. I love the different regeneration options on lifting off though. I'd hate to drive a car without any 'engine' braking.

0
0
MrT
Bronze badge

Even skinny spares are a problem...

Picked up a sharp in the NSF some time during flood-dodging in Hampshire in Feb this year, but didn't realise it until I'd joined the A34 about 5 miles up from Winchester. Resulting blowout and shower of sidewall rubber (tyre face had separated completely from both walls) put me in pickle because the skinny was only rated at 50mph for 50 miles, and I had 250 or so to do that day.

Green Flag came out to check the braking etc hadn't been damaged so it was safe to continue to a tyre fitter that had winter rubber in stock, which they contacted and arranged so it was only about 90 minutes delay.

Luckily the alloy only had one small ding in the outer rim and was serviceable with the new rubber (and hasn't leaked since), because I'd have been in a fix if the wheel needed replacing as well - not many tyre fitters carry wheels for any and all makes of vehicle.

That's not to say I haven't had punctures before - one time on a narrow country back road something in the hedge bottom ripped a sidewall out - but in all other times I've had a full-size spare to continue on without restrictions. MrsT's current vehicle is spare-less and I'd be looking at a no-spare recovery instead of wasting time with the tyre-wrecking gloop.

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: Even skinny spares are a problem...

I still prefer a spare (Full size as current odd size spare makes roundabouts rather more interesting). I've had to grab my car from a car park at around 8 o clock to realise I had a puncture, being 50 miles from home I checked and was unable to find anyone still open. Although my speed was reduced it got me home and I could just drive to a tyre shop the next morning.

3
0
Silver badge

Re: Even skinny spares are a problem...

"I still prefer a spare"

Ditto. I occasionally go to some rather out of the way places, and a tin of gunk with a range as short as suggested above wouldn't get me far enough to be somewhere with a phone signal so I could call the RAC with their better quality gunk (which would still not be enough to get me home).

"(Full size as current odd size spare makes roundabouts rather more interesting)."

I assume by odd size you mean a so-called "space saver" wheel. Strange things. They're smaller, so they take up less space in the boot - but if you have to change to one, and your boot is full, you don't have room for the full sized one you've taken off.

6
0
Silver badge
Unhappy

Re: No spare wheel?

"When was the last time you had a puncture? "

Unfortunately, less than a year ago when, in the middle of an election campaign where a local right-wing party was stirring up a lot of xenophobia, I found one of my car's tires stabbed. Another foreign-registered car in th eopposite bay had met a similair fate.

Unfortunately a can of gunk stands no chance of fixing an inch-wide tear.

3
0
Bronze badge

Re: No spare wheel?

Apparently, you are more than twice as likely to be stranded with a flat battery than a puncture. Not many of us carry a spare vehicle battery.

2
1
Silver badge

Re: No spare wheel?

"What happens when you get a puncture then?

I suppose you use a canister of foam they provide"

Simple question from an ignorant layman... if teh hole is small enough to be sealed by teh foam spray, how do you find it? If the hole is big enough to be easily spotted, foam spray won't work.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: No spare wheel?

"Not many of us carry a spare vehicle battery."

I carry a portable starter.

As well as food and water, etc., just in case.

Like I said, I occasionally (by choice) head for out of the way places - the fewer people, and cell towers, the better.

1
0

Re: Even skinny spares are a problem...

Driving on our tractor-laden roads my wife has had three punctures in the last 10 years. For the third one, she was in one of our mobile-phone-reception free areas and had a goo pump. Problem? Tyre came off rim. Long walk, the the recovery company didn't know where the car was. I had to rescue her.

Fortunately a full spare wheel kit was available. I bought it the next day.

0
0

Re: No spare wheel?

This is true, but it is far easier to find a replacement battery than the correct replacement tyre. The time I had a flat battery, I had a new one installed and on the way in 45 minutes. The last time I had a puncture, the total time spent on recovery and replacement ran into hours.

2
0
evs

Re: No spare wheel?

The spray goes inside the tire so it will find the hole by itself. If everything goes as planned the foam will seal the leak and the propellant will inflate the tire enough to get to the nearest gas station (where you should add more air).

0
0

Re: No spare wheel?

Had 4 in the past 3 weeks, 2 on each car.

2 from pothole on one.

Screw in the other 2 when turning around. Lost pressure though the 3mm hole on the drive axle, at 1900. No chance of a replacement till the morning, Limped to garage next morning on space saver.. when replacing the front they found a screw in the rear too.

Driving on the space saver for almost 70 miles (home and to the garage) was nerve wracking. Can of gunk would have been RAC and a wheels off the ground tow :(

I have the parts to convert my mondeo to a full sized spare, and I really need to get that installed.

And the worse I've had? Abandoned masonry bit in main road, went though the tyre and a steel rim, wrote the lot off, can of gunk wouldn't have helped there, not with a 7mm hole in the rim.. luckerly that car had a spare...

1
0

Re: No spare wheel?

Looking back over 35 years of car ownership, I'd have been better off carrying spare engines than spare tires. Now the first thing I do when getting a vehicle is chuck the spare. But since I don't even think about getting anything with less than 100,000 miles on it, that's just good thinking because using a 15 year old space saver spare is probably more dangerous than shaving with a chainsaw.

But, as with any other automotive discussion, YMMV...

1
0

Re: No spare wheel?

If my battery goes flat I can always push start my manual tranny car.

If I have a blowout, I need a tyre of some kind in the car.

I would much rather dirty my hands changing a tyre than wait (possibly) hours for a tow service.

1
0

This post has been deleted by its author

Bronze badge
Stop

Re: No spare wheel?

@Stoneshop - When was the last time you had a puncture? Mine was eight years ago.

This year, on the motorway, with less than 200 miles on a new car. Little can of glue and a pump were sod all help with a blow out. Was a Sunday afternoon so had to get a recovery van take us the 60 miles home, then another recovery van the next morning to take me to the dealership so they could replace the tyre. By the time the recovery truck had turned up we could have changed the wheel and got home on a cold winter's day.

This winter in the UK there seemed to have been a lot of tyre failures, the product of a very wet winter roughing the road up I suspect.

I've learned my lesson the hard way - a spare wheel (doesn't matter if it is a space saver) is essential.

1
0
Bronze badge
Facepalm

Re: No spare wheel?

@evs - The spray goes inside the tire so it will find the hole by itself. If everything goes as planned the foam will seal the leak - [Emphasis mine]

Unfortunately the plan assumes wonderful roads and fantastic tyres. As soon as the puncture has started to cause the tyre wall to bulge (as happened to me), a blowout is inevitable. And if the puncture is slow enough you won't notice for a while (blowout).

The foam is good for sealing a point puncture or a thin tear if you notice it early enough and can then easily find and stop at a tyre replacement centre soon after applying the foam. However, if your tyre fails (blowout, large tear, several punctures) then the foam is useless.

Even if you can successfully treat the puncture with foam, it is only worth it if you can get to somewhere that can replace tyres without having to travel too far, which if you are on the motorway, or travelling late at night is unlikely.

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: Even skinny spares are a problem...

"I assume by odd size you mean a so-called "space saver" wheel"

Yes for some reason I couldn't recall what they were called, my wheel with tyre actually do fit in the hole, but the width means there is a bump in the floor.

"Not many of us carry a spare vehicle battery."

Good point but I tend to replace batteries on my car as soon as I'm aware they are on the way out, so far I've never had a flat battery (Although I have probably doomed myself to a flat battery now I have said that)

0
0

Re: No spare wheel?

In the last 10 years I have had four car punctures (one at motorway speed), and at least six motorcycle punctures that I can remember. No fewer than four of these have been caused by the t-shaped parts of tie-down ratchets that litter the roads anywhere that artics go with any frequency, and the rest, with one exception, by similar sharp objects left (as councils no longer sweep the roads the debris builds up and then gets blown all across/along the road when a good storm comes along) to get worn down on the road until they have a nice edge/point. The one exception was self-inflicted, as I took a glancing blow off a kerb at speed, misjudging the line on an exit ramp.

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: No spare wheel?

changing to a spare wheel (15 minutes for an amateur?)

I wish. The last two times I had to change a tire, I couldn't get the damn alloy wheel free from the steel hub. Even tried the "drive it a little with the lug nuts loose" trick. And I didn't have a mallet or similar handy in the car. And the first time it was pouring rain, the second time snowing - and both times at night, of course.

The first time I just finally ended up calling for a tow. The second time, I called AAA, and when the tow truck driver arrived, borrowed a block to knock the wheel loose. Then we put the spare on and he went on his way. But the whole process took well over an hour.

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: No spare wheel?

Apparently, you are more than twice as likely to be stranded with a flat battery than a puncture.

Perhaps you are. Try driving on the roads around here.

Though I admit most of my flats have been due to sidewall damage, not punctures, so I suppose you're technically correct.

0
0

Re: Even skinny spares are a problem...

if you have to change to one, and your boot is full, you don't have room for the full sized one you've taken off.

You could put it on your lap, but that has its dangers.

0
0

Same old

No full recharge in 3 minutes and 400 mile range?

No sale.

Sorry, but that's how cars are used now.

3
1

Re: Same old

That's how I used to think and then I realised that I hadnt used my commuter car to drive more than 30 miles even once in a single day in the last 18 months.

I get the leaf later this month.

We already do our longer journies as a family all together in our primary car and to be honest we might even stop using that and get a free loan of a quashqai for upto 14 days a year to help keep the miles off it.

5
0

Re: Same old

When was the last time you drove 400miles straight after spending 3 minutes at the fuel pump, (if pay@pump)?

How far do you normally drive straight after filling up?

I'm sorry driving 400miles in one go after filling up is not how cars are used today....

3
2

Re: Same old

Hairy Spod,

You have done exactly what our family has done :) Trust me, the use of the primary car drops off significantly after you get a Pure EV.... Why pay £6 to do a journey you can either do for free (at the moment with free public charging points) or for less than £2.20?

Our primary car has been sidelined, even for the longer journeys that are beyond the range of the leaf!

--Roger (2013 G2 Leaf Tekna :) )

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Same old

"When was the last time you drove 400miles straight after spending 3 minutes at the fuel pump, (if pay@pump)?"

Yesterday. Went to London dopped off some things (15mins stopped) then turned around and went home. Okay so it wasn't 400Miles...it was 432miles.

"I'm sorry driving 400miles in one go after filling up is not how cars are used today...."

You are totally missing the point. The fact is that at the moment you only have to "fill up" once a week or once every two weeks in most peoples situation, not every single day.

People are already reminiscing about having a Nokia mobile phone they only had to charge weekly and are constantly moaning that their new Android/Apple phone needs daily charging. People wont accept the answer of "but people don't charge once a week, they do it daily so it's okay" so why should they with cars?

2
1

Re: Same old

I'm not going to devolve into a tit for tat with an "Anonymous Coward", but being an Ex IT Consultant for HP where my average mileage was 25,000 every six months, these are not your normal users of these cars and when was the last time you made a 400mile trip like that and how often, unless you are a white van man?

EV's are like Marmite, they either work for you or they don't, mine works for me as they could and would for many people if they could just get over this dependence on having an ICE in the car!

As I've said (in another post) I clock up 20,000 miles a year now personal and I don't have an issue with driving onto my drive plugging my car into the external charging port on my drive. I'v never had the situation where "oh sorry can't come out tonight as I've been to Tesco and the Post Office" and I don't have any charge.. It's never failed to meet my needs

(My ASDA has 32A Charging points, so I'm getting free electric whilst I shop and always go home with more than I left).

I have 4 Rapid Chargers within 19 miles two of which are under 2miles yet I hardly ever use them even though they are free!

People need to stop picking faults in this emerging technology and accept it for what it is, Range Bashing is tedious, as is Ohh No Spare Wheel, Lots of cars don' thave them these days! (Mini's being one and they are not EV either)

My Fuel bil went from £3,600-£4,000 per year to less than £700. Economics makes sense, unless that is you have a fuel card and company car (although company car tax for a Mitsibushi PHEV is something like £38 a year instead of £300+)

2
1

Re: Same old - Nokia Phones

But were you surfing the internet, listening to music, checking facebook on your old Nokia?

I still have my old Nokia 6210 and 6310i....

1
0

Re: Same old

The practical aspects of a lekky car would work for my normal driving routine, but the finances will not. OK, so I would save £3000 or so a year fuel costs - but the price difference of the car means that it will take 5 years to break even, by which time I'll probably be needing a new battery for the lekky car at a cost that will take several more years to amortise away. I doubt that an electric car is inherently more expensive to manufacture than an ICE car - quite probably cheaper - so hopefully as sales volumes increase the price will come down to something that will make them more cost effective.

2
0

Page:

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon