Volkswagen’s New Electric Is ‘a Golf First, and Zero-Emission Second’

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Der neue Volkswagen e-Golf

Volkswagen (VLKAY.PK) is perhaps best known for its diesel technologies, as it was one of the first manufacturers to have its signature TDI diesel engines approved for the updated U.S. emissions codes that sent many others back to the drawing boards. VW then spread its TDI technology to a couple of models, and it’s now an integral part of the company’s lineup.

However, instead of relying on the high-MPG diesels to keep up its fleet fuel economy averages, Volkswagen has been dabbling in electric cars and hybrids, though not nearly to the extent of some of its Japanese competition. The fruits of these labors include the still conceptual R8 e-tron, the similar A3 e-Tron, the available-for-purchase Jetta hybrid, and the forthcoming e-Golf — which was recently driven by the folks over at Green Car Reports and is especially exciting since it will be VW’s first fully electric vehicle to hit U.S. showrooms when it arrives later this year.

The e-Golf will arrive alongside the seventh-generation Golf as the beloved namesake celebrates its 40th birthday. The 2015-generation Golf has actually been on sale in Europe since 2012. Pilot production for the new car has started at Volkswagen’s plant in Mexico, Green Car Reports says, adding that production of the U.S.-spec e-Golf will be in Wolfsburg, Germany.

GCR was able to take the e-Golf around parts of Berlin for about 20 miles in what was largely urban, stop-and-go traffic — conditions suited for a car like the e-Golf, as its limited range and small footprint make it an ideal vehicle for city commuters. “Overall, our impressions were favorable,” reporter John Voelcker said.

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