by Seán Creedon

The Volkswagen e-Golf is not a new car as it has been around since 2014. But this is the first time that I had an opportunity to drive the electric version of VW’s popular Golf.

The German company celebrated the 45th anniversary of the production of the first Golf on March 29.

Since 1974 over 35 million units of the Golf have been sold worldwide, with a new Golf being ordered every 41 seconds.

Those are impressive figures and I suppose there will come a day when our grand children will be writing about similar sales feats for electric versions of the Golf.

Charging up the VW e-Golf. (Picture: Paddy McGrath)

Two years back VW gave a mid-life revamp to the seventh generation of their popular Golf. Now this electric version is based on that Mark VII, with just a few extra touches.

But as usual you would need to be wearing your VW-branded anorak to spot the changes.

Externally the only clues that that you are driving an electric rather than a regular Golf are a few discreet e-Golf badges, C-shaped LED lights and very attractive 16-inch Astana alloys.

The VW e-Golf interior. (Picture: Paddy McGrath)

There is also a blue trim line which runs across the grille and into the headlights.

I have driven a few electric cars in recent years, the Nissan Leaf, Hyundai Kona and Renault Zoe.

They were all new style electric cars, but this was the first time I drove an electric version of what is a well established car.

Range Anxiety

‘Range Anxiety’ is the big worry for prospective electric car customers. The estimated range for the e-Golf is around 240-250 kilometres in regular driving conditions, which is over 200 kilometres less than the Kona I drove a few weeks back.

In the cabin the layout of the controls are much the same as the regular Golf. But my eyes never seemed to leave the dash as if took my foot off the accelerator, I could see the range increase as the engine goes into charge or recuperation mode.

Also if you drive carefully there won’t be too much need for any heavy braking.

With 136 horse power you can get from zero to 100km/h in just over nine seconds. But you won’t that too often or otherwise you might have to push the car home. The boot is slightly smaller than the regular golf as space is needed for the electric equipment.

The VW e-Golf. (Picture: Paddy McGrath)

The Golf is a very popular car in Ireland for male and female drivers alike. And you always get the feeling that it won’t let you down.

When all the government grants are counted, there is a price difference of over 11k between the regular Golf and the e-Golf.

Prices start at €36,125 for the entry level and there is a more expensive executive edition starting at €39, 495. It’s not cheap, considering the regular Golf starts at €22,495. Road tax is only €120.

VW is planning to up the stakes in the electric market next year when they will launch their ID, their first compact car to be based on new all-electric architecture. It will have a range of up to 600km.

But for now what’s the prognosis on the e-Golf?  Well there is definite range anxiety and charging and recuperation are both very slow.