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Facing the future –VW E-Golf Review.

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sdr

We can’t avoid what’s happening all round us, this just means we must adapt and move with the times, this also means we face electric mobility as one of the major innovations we will live with. Something most people don’t see working in our country thanks to an unreliable power supplier or source.  When the opportunity to drive the Volkswagen E-Golf arouse I was happy then I remembered I suffer from a serious case of range anxiety, that and mechanical sympathy. So here it goes !

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Looks

The front end boasts stunning daytime LEDs nestled in the lower bumper ,these make quite an impression as their shape stands out, a blue line runs across the grill to signal its efficiency , most parts you’d find open for air intake in an internal combustion engine, here they are closed off, the side profile is highlighted by a rather different set of alloys with a high shine finish, the rear end is pretty normal as per 7.5 Golf with flowing motion LED indicators, and blocked out tailpieces.

The interior is pretty much what you find in a TSI Golf, except in this case the test mule had upholstery seats, I must say the spec level of the test car was quite nice, Navigation , Keyless entry and push start button , Park Distance Control with rear cross traffic alert and reversing camera, I was also impressed with the standard radio’s output despite being a standard radio.

Overall it’s a good looking car!!

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The Drive

 Power comes from a 35.7kwh lithium battery which placed centrally in the car for balance, more like on the floor, this gives us a power output of 100kw and 290nm of torque, this is mated to DSG gearbox, electric cars don’t really have gears but have a gearbox, to reverse, park and well drive forward, in the case of this German, where you would find the sports mode for the gearbox, it has a recuperation mode, this means it gently brakes when you lift off the throttle thus regenerating power back to the battery. The car comes with 3 driving modes ie. Normal which is where you experience full power and that mode does consume lots of power, Eco which limits the speed to 120kph, and ECO plus , which is the one I used the most, speed is limited to 95kph, this mode also cuts back on the power and you are afforded a few seconds of full boost for overtaking.  Now most luxuries like air-conditioning  draw power , so I drove for most times with my elbow out, yes bendiphole kukhakhayi!!  The ride and drive is as good as a Golf  is , and the silence was a welcomed new scene. The silence also affords you to hear other mechanical nits like brakes, steering wheel turning, at some stage I could hear my mind thinking !

One thing about driving an electric car is it really teaches discipline, awuyabuli aimlessly  , the accuracy of range is impeccable  , the E- Golf  navigation has map showing  you how far you can drive to after a full charge (230kms in ECO+) , a full charge  takes just over an hour(quick charge station) from empty , I made sure am always charging  btw 35% to 40% , hayi I took no chances!  The time it would have taken to charge at home was no less than 16hours, a huge NO NO for me.

The Volkswagen E-Golf was my 3rd full electric experience , I found no issues owning the car, however the only public  charge station  in my area is located 35kms from my home, it’s at Baywest shopping mall , if you know me well enough you will know I don’t really do malls, Majola forces me even when we do shopping. So I was fortunate I have good connections to quick charge during my stint with the E-Golf.  In a time where charging stations can be found closer to fueling stations these type of cars will be the starch for those that have invested in the production quite early, the development is taking quite a bit of time down here, in Gauteng however charging is no issue , with no less than 90 stations , owning an EV in that part of our country seems feasible at this stage.  Lots of OEMs have now started investing in Electric mobility with some even proclaiming they will be fully electric in the near future.  For VW though plans in this segment have been in motion for a while especially when looking at the upcoming  list of EVs within their portfolio.

I enjoyed my time with the VW E-Golf, it was quite an eye opening and interesting experience , the car gets my NOD as long as OEMS can partner up with Govt to speed up the process of installing  quick charge stations . The only snag was the small battery with only 230km on a full charge, I do understand the logic though as my longest drive stint was 3days which impressive by most standards.

Thanks to Volkswagen SA for the experience

Yours in motoring

Wezile Lorenzio Bonani

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