Volkswagen of America announced that it will begin a pilot scheme to test 20 prototype E-Golf Battery Electric Vehicles over a nine-month period in select locations in the U.S. Twelve of these vehicles will be allocated to selected Volkswagen employees during the time period.
By studying E-Golf use across multiple geographical regions, Volkswagen will monitor the effect of climate conditions, driving patterns and energy performance. The data and insights gained during the scheme will be used in the final development of future EV technology applications.
The E-Golf pilot program will take place in the Detroit Metro, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. markets, beginning this month (April).
In addition to testing the vehicle itself, users will also test specific services designed for the E-Golf. For example, 220-volt charging stations will be installed at the employees’ homes to charge the vehicles. Each E-Golf will be delivered with an iPhone and a dedicated app, allowing the user to check the battery’s charging status, regulate the car’s internal temperature, gauge how much charging time is left, or even remotely start the charging procedure.
The E-Golf looks just like a four-door Golf, with seating for five people. It is driven by an electric motor that delivers 200 lb/ft (270 Nm) of torque. Power for the electric motor comes from a 26.5 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery that consists of 180 cells. The E-Golf has an estimated driving range of 93 miles (150 km).
The vehicle has a number of features that help ensure energy is preserved while driving via three driving modes for regenerative braking, where kinetic energy is recaptured into the battery. Charging is accomplished via a plug connector behind the gas cap on the right rear fender.