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 |  Mar 14 2012, 10:01 AM

German giant Volkswagen already sent the first eGolf electric car to California, but as we reported in late February, it wasn’t a production car.

That will change late next year as the company plans to start releasing the EV as a 2014 model. Jonathan Browning, VW of America’s president told Automotive News it will be a fully-electric version of the already-existent Golf.

It seems the company will start by targeting specific small markets in the U.S. before moving into Europe. California seems like an obvious choice for the initial trial though the official announcement isn’t out yet. Aside from the subsidies and lifestyle benefits like HOV lane exemptions, the first eGolf arrived there, so it seems like a natural choice for the company.

As previously reported, the eGolf has a 93-mile range and 87-mph top speed and a 11.6-second 0-60 mph acceleration time.

The number of eGolfs headed to the U.S. market still isn’t clear, but don’t expect to see droves of them late next year.

“It’s a fundamental part of our powertrain strategy, but sometimes it’s good to be a little more steady in terms to the approach to the market,” Browning said.

[Source: Automotive News]

 |  Feb 24 2012, 5:15 PM

German automaker Volkswagen is joining the electric vehicle party, and the first eGolf has been shipped to their Electronic Research Laboratory in Belmont, California.

20 electric VW Golfs will make their way to America for testing, and Volkswagen will build a total of 500 to test its new electric powertrain. There is nothing evolutionary or revolutionary with Volkswagen’s first eGolf, which will be front-wheel drive and packs a lithium-ion battery for energy storage. As with most electric vehicles, it can be plugged to an outlet to be charged in addition to recharging through regenerative braking.

Currently the battery pack in the eGolf stores 26.5 kilowatt-hours of electricity giving the vehicle a range of 93 miles and has a 0-60 mph time of 11.8 seconds. Top speed is currently rated at 87-mph.

As for the rest of the vehicle, the eGolf shares much of it parts with its conventional gasoline counterpart inside and out. By utilizing the already existing Golf platform, VW was able to not only save time and money, but make it more efficient to manufacture.

The German automaker hasn’t confirmed when the electric Golf will make its way into production. But given that the company anticipates 500 vehicles on the road for testing, it shouldn’t be too far off.

The Volkswagen eGolf joins other electric vehicles that have made their way to California including the first Ford Focus Electric that went to Google, and the first Honda Fit EV that was delivered to the city of Torrance.

[Source: CNet]