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Six-month test clarifies EVs’ perks and pitfalls

VW e-Golf (2018)

Factsheet

Price: £37,040 (excl. £4,500 grant)

Power: 100kW/136PS

Performance: 0-62mpH 9.6 secs, top speed 93mph

Range: 124 miles (186 miles NEDC test)

Review

Addressing the LowCVP annual conference earlier this year, AA president Edmund King said that “ultimately, outstanding, affordable, stylish EVs with a decent range will sell themselves”.

For now, though, anxieties about range persist and most customers will only consider an EV as half of a two-car household. AM’s temporary ‘ownership’ of the e-Golf has suggested that this is unlikely to be a ‘second’ car though, as it becomes the default way to travel.

The e-Golf delivers a low-cost real-world range of about 135 miles, more than most need Monday to Friday. Home charging – in my case with a Chargemaster wall unit (although Volkswagen’s approved provider is Pod Point) – is habit-forming and effortless.

However, business trips and family days out will expose owners to the quirks and complexities of the UK’s charging networks, which demand a variety of smartphone apps and a preparedness to deal with faults, queues and the time spent charging itself.

During its time with AM, the e-Golf provided quiet and comfortable driving and its servicing requirements – inspection after two years/20,000 miles and then annually – will delight potential customers and confound retailers.

Volkswagen’s current flagship EV is not a car for everyman, but the group’s plan to launch more than 80 new electrified models by 2025, including 50 EVs, suggests the car that is may not be far away.
 

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