Interesting test drive report here with the electric Golf, the VW Golf blue-e-motion.
Climb in and you’d struggle to see any difference between this interior and that of the standard turbodiesel Golf. The trunk floor loses a couple of inches of capacity to accommodate the battery and 20-foot recharging cord, but that’s about it. Wait a moment, though, what’s this on the dashboard? In place of the standard rev counter and fuel gauge, VW has brilliantly changed its analogue instruments to show power usage in kilowatts, and the charge left in the battery pack. For the pedantically minded, there are digits available in the pull-down menu, but the dials give you a quick glance at how far you’ve got left to run. A key start activates the systems and a further twist gets the motor prepared.
The transmission is a single speed, with an automatic-style shifter in the centre with conventional markings of Drive, Neutral, Park, Reverse and Brake, which dials in more regenerated braking energy. You can also use steering wheel paddles to slow the car by regenerating electricity in three progressive stages.
Like all electric cars where peak torque is available from zero revs, the Golf is quick away from the lights. Even with three adults on board, the motor’s torque keeps it strong and responsive to the accelerator up to about 50 mph when the torque starts to tail off. This is a problem with single-speed electric motors, but as Tesla have found, sourcing a transmission to handle the getaway grunt is not easy. VW says it is working on it. Despite that drawback, the Golf will cruise happily at 75 mph and pulls gamely up to 90 to 100 mph. It’s eerily silent and refined, much better than rivals that are much nearer production.