e Golf Test

Electric cars, I think we can all agree, are what our children will all be driving. The e-Golf is one model that is currently on the market, and is a mid-range (cost-wise) electric vehicle. After driving it for a month or so, I can see that the benefits of electric motoring broadly outweigh the drawbacks. I should note that this is the only electric car that I’ve driven extensively, so I’m not comparing it to others of its type, but just presenting my musings on electric motoring in general.

Golfs are pretty much everything that you would need in a car; sturdy, reliable, nippy when needed, safe and with decent storage. Nothing has changed with the e-Golf; it’s largely identical to other Golfs (but I’m told the boot has less storage space due to battery encroachment). It’s lovely to drive, very fast off the mark due to no gear change and maximum power output from the off. I can’t fault it mechanically or physically.

Running cost wise, it’s wonderful…minimum road tax of €120 pa, and charging from ‘CCS’ fast chargers (of which there aren’t enough) or regular street chargers is effectively free, and fully charging from home costs about €2. Times for charging are 30-40 minutes on a CCS, 4 hours or so on regular street charger, and an overnight stint on a home/domestic socket.

My only grumblings can probably be applied to all electric cars (except perhaps hi-end Tesla’s), and these are, obviously, charging times and range. Range anxiety. RANGE ANXIETY! It’s a real thing…you find yourself looking at the range output almost constantly. Notionally, a full charge can give you 190km…but that probably means an incredibly boring, cold (AC or heating drains the battery a disturbing amount) drive. I probably never achieved more than 65% of the 190kms, even on Eco+ mode (one of three driving modes), but might have with more practice….

Obviously, the limited range means you have to plot most journeys carefully, longer journeys even more so. You also have to think ahead to the next journey after you’ve arrived at your destination; is there a fast/regular charger nearby, is it safe to leave the car charging overnight etc. That’s said, after a few weeks, charging, when needed, became just another step in my day, a fact of life. I haven’t had had too much issues with waiting to use chargers, nor with non-electric cars parked in charging bays, but that might change with more E.V.’s on the road.

All that said, it is the future, and it’s one of the first generation of these cars, so hopefully range will only increase and charging time decrease…. overall vehicle costs and required infrastructure will hopefully take care of themselves once more people go electric.

The times they are a-changin’……yup, I’m sold.

-Emmet Nolan