In light of the still-widening diesel emissions scandal, it’s no surprise that Volkswagen came to the Los Angeles Auto Show promoting an electric car.
The German car company brought a fleet of the sporty e-Golf battery electric vehicles to the show, eagerly throwing the keys to anyone willing to take a test drive.
The car is worth promoting. The VW e-Golf is a spirited runabout that deserves its place in the popular Golf family. In going electric, it makes almost no compromises in terms of performance, comfort or cargo space. It looks like a Golf, and it runs like a Golf.
And like most battery electric vehicles, it costs too much, takes too long to recharge, and has too little range.
Volkswagen, though seemingly late to the battery electric game, has been testing fully electric prototypes since the 1980s. Introducing the e-Golf as a model year 2015 car, it’s now entering a crowded field. I count more than a dozen contenders, among them league leaders Tesla Model S and Nissan Leaf.
Other than the Tesla — which can drive three times farther than any other BEV but also costs at least three times more — electric cars on the market include the Fiat 500e, BMW i3, Chevy Spark, Ford Focus, Kia Soul, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Smart EV and Mercedes B-Class.
The e-Golf lands near the top in terms of range, a promised 83 miles between charges — not far behind 93 for the Kia, 87 for the Fiat, 85 for the Mercedes and 84 for the Leaf — and in the middle in terms of price, less than the BMW or Mercedes, about the same as the Fiat and the Kia, and well above the Ford or Chevy.
Read more: LA Times