egolf 2015

The time had come this past June to replace our 2003 Audi. We considered the affordable electric car options, but all were rear-wheel drive (not a viable option living in the North East and up a 1-in-4 hill in the woods). We knew the Audi eTrons were a few years’ away, so a quick search at the VW site brought smiles to our faces: an all-electric Golf with front-wheel drive.

Upon arrival at the dealership, an hour later after our research, we were test-driving the eGolf – enjoying the near G-force acceleration as it silently flew past noisy gas-engined vehicles.

Needless to say, we signed a lease and became one of the first VW eGolfs in the US, let alone New York State. Everyone we’ve encountered out and about is singularly impressed with the torque, the handling, the styling, and engineering. Here are answers to the most frequent questions:

We can generally count on approximately 105 miles per charge in temperate weather; 90 or so miles in colder weather.

We’ve installed a 40 amp charging station to recharge from empty in 4 hours’ time. On a daily basis, we average about 25-50 miles, so we plug in upon arriving home and we’re ready to go out again in a couple hours’ time. Based on this usage, our daily electric consumption is about $2 per day. $60 per month provides fuel for a nearly maintenance-free, zero emission vehicle. Most of the public charging stations are free in our vicinity, as well! VW will tow you for free should we find ourselves on the road and out of charge.

As for winter tires, we learned early on living here to put Finnish ice tires on the Audi and icy conditions are no longer a concern. And, so it goes for the eGolf. Now we just need the conditions to put them to the test! The mechanic who changed our tires commented the brake pads looked pristine. He was then told they’ve been in use for 6 months! His surprised reply was quickly countered with our joyous outbursts about regenerative braking!

The never-wavering cruise control (regardless of topography) is one of my favorite functions. The Fender sound system gets a good kicking from our diverse musical tastes and has yet to implode. It took a couple of weeks to acclimate the additional thumb buttons on the steering wheel, but it soon became routine. (I had a similar experience in college learning the bassoon.)

I got stuck in a traffic slow-down/jam on a highway and soon realized I needn’t worry (any longer) about my remaining fuel going up in vapors while idling. No more oil changes, no searching for gas stations, no more fiddly bits to elicit the “Oooh, that’ll be expensive to fix” mechanic’s song.

And, it’s a Golf.