Eric's Autos: 2019 Volkswagen E-Golf
Most electric cars don't come as non-electric cars, which is one of the things that makes VW's e-Golf electric car unusual -- and interesting. You can cross-shop it against itself.
What It Is
The e-Golf is the electric version of VW's popular five-door Golf hatchback.
It's exactly the same in many ways but also very different in other ways. Both Golfs look almost exactly the same, except for the badges. And they have exactly the same room for passengers and cargo, which is impressive since the e-Golf was converted into an electric car from a car that wasn't originally designed to be an electric car.
Where did they put the batteries? There's no sign of them -- all 400 pounds of them.
They also differ radically under the hood and on the road. The e-Golf burns no gas and never has to be filled up. But it does need to be plugged in, more frequently than the regular Golf needs to be gassed up. It only goes about half as far, 125 miles, on a full charge.
It's also more expensive, $31,895 versus $21,845 for the same car without the electric drivetrain.
VW now includes "fast" charge capability as part of the e-Golf's standard equipment package. This means the car can recover about 80 percent of its charge, about 100 miles of driving range, in 30 to 45 minutes by plugging into a 240-volt charging station. The reason it's not 100 percent is to prevent damage to the battery, the most expensive part of an electric car. On standard 120-volt household current, you can recharge to 100 percent, but it takes several hours at least.