With the rise in popularity and declining costs of electric vehicles, we have invested in the tools and training to properly service vehicles like Teslas, Nissan Leafs, BMW i3s, and more. I am a textbook skeptic at heart, and anytime the next “great new thing” comes out, I look for ways to poke holes in it. To this day electric cars have not impressed me–Teslas with Ludicrous Mode included.
The reason why I haven’t been able to appreciate them is simply because, while they may be improving greatly every year, they still feel very… gimmicky. Much like the early hybrids, when you get into an electric vehicle, you are surrounded by reminders that you are in something special, something unique. And while electric cars are definitely the future–not to mention the past, but that’s a whole other article–, I don’t like the idea of shoving my expensive, “selfless” purchase in everyone’s face.
Yesterday, however, I spent time in one that completely won me over. We bought the first of hopefully many Volkswagen e-Golfs. The most special thing about this car is, well, it’s just a car. Seriously. Aside from the lack of any engine sound, nothing about it suggests that it is an electric vehicle. It looks and feels like every other quality European vehicle.
Most EVs feel like really fancy golf carts (I do see the irony) when you drive them. They brake really hard the moment you let of the gas ped… accelerator pedal, in order to charge the batteries with the kinetic energy generated at the wheels. That’s a good thing, but it’s also a constant reminder that you are driving something very different from a “normal “ car.
The eGolf does all of the things other electric vehicles do, but it does it in a way that feels natural. It charges the batteries when you slow down, but you get to push the brake pedal to do it. It can coast to a stop, rather than constantly accelerating and decelerating with force.
The gauges all look like traditional gauges. The tachometer is replaced by a percent-of-power meter, but it still looks like a normal RPM gauge. Plus, it’s a VW, so everything is tight and built with quality.
And, and maybe it was the way I was driving–I used to races Karts and cars, but now I’d make Miss Daisy impatient–I drove it almost fifteen miles running errands, and when I got back the car showed that I had two more miles of charge remaining than when I left. That’s a whole new level of eco-driving right there.
All in all, the e-Golf is a fantastic little car, and if anyone was asking me for a recommendation on a vehicle, this is 100% the car I would suggest.