Our Cars: Volkswagen e-Golf

12 June 2018: Can the Volkswagen e-Golf cover longer journeys?

The Details

Current mileage 964 miles
Claimed range 124 miles
Actual range 160 miles

Whenever car manufacturers are plugging their new plug-in vehicle (pun intended), they always quote various stats about how the majority of people never drive more than a certain amount of miles a day. The point is, should you really be so dismissive about an electric car with its 120-mile or so range if you only ever drive to work and back while popping to the shops occasionally?

And it’s true. Even though my commute is a fairly hefty 90-mile or so round trip and I regularly drive to airports around the South East, it’s still rare that I have to complete a journey that can’t be undertaken in an electric car.

For its first week or so on the Honest John fleet, the e-Golf spent a lot of its time in the car park, save for the odd lunch run into the next town. I just didn’t have any confidence that I could use it for longer journeys and a steady stream of petrol and diesel test cars meant it was easy to shy away from electric power.

The UK launch of the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class in the Cotswolds gave me reason to travel further afield in the e-Golf. The hotel was about 100 miles from our office - something that should be doable on one charge - and I’d phoned ahead to check that I’d be able to plug the Volkswagen in once there.

E -golf

Andrew's been surprised at all the places that offer electric car charging

I’d love to have a story to tell about what a challenging journey it was - bad weather, heavy traffic and unwanted diversions all playing their part in leaving me being stranded on the side of the road without electricity - but it wasn’t like that. I got in the car, set off, and arrived at my destination a few hours later feeling very relaxed with the Golf showing 60 miles of range left.

Once at the hotel, I plugged my car in using one of their wide range of charging leads and a few hours later it was fully charged.

Now, the e-Golf has an official NEDC range of 186 miles but Volkswagen - keen to remain whiter than white - emphasises that 124 miles is a more realistic range expectation. I’ve found on a few occasions now that that’s easily beatable, as long as you’re gentle with the throttle and crank up the regenerative braking to pump electricity back into the battery.

My confidence is building as the initial range anxiety declines. That’s good, as I’m still charging using an extension lead at home and we’re nowhere nearer to installing a charge point at the office. Maybe it’s time to complete a properly long journey in the e-Golf, however...

« Earlier: The all-electric Volkswagen e-Golf arrives     Later: How does the Volkswagen e-Golf compare to the Nissan Leaf? »

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12 June 2018: Can the Volkswagen e-Golf cover longer journeys?
Andrew attempts a longer journey in the electric Volkswagen e-Golf. It all goes surprisingly swimmingly.
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