FOCUS ON: Volkswagen
What does VW offer fleets looking for green and efficient cars? Don’t mention dieselgate. Look beyond the 2015 emissions scandal, and Volkswagen can claim to have a strong range of low- and zero-emission vehicles. Indeed, many of its internal-combustion engined cars are among the lowest emitters in class – yes, even the diesels.
VW’S ELECTRIC CHARGE
Officially, VW has two pure-electric cars in its current line-up – the e-Up and the e-Golf. However, it’s not possible to order the e-Up at the moment due to demand outstripping supply.
✪ STAR CAR ✪
WHAT IS IT?
An all-electric version of the ubiquitous hatch.
HOW MUCH POWER HAS IT?
The electric motor develops 136hp, which is enough for a 0-62mph
time of 9.6 seconds.
DOES IT LOSE BOOT SPACE TO MAKE ROOM FOR THE BATTERIES?
No, it has the same 380-litre capacity as the regular Golf.
HOW FAR WILL IT GO?
144 miles per charge (WLTP).
IS IT TAX-EFFICIENT?
Like any pure EV, it becomes a whole lot more appealing to company car drivers next April. Right now, the e-Golf is in the 16% BIK tax bracket. That will drop to a 0% band for the 2020-21 tax year.
Which leaves the e-Golf. It was updated with greater battery capacity and a more powerful motor in 2017. However, the WLTP range of 144 miles is modest at best compared with the 279-mile range of the Hyundai Kona Electric and the 282 miles that the Kia e-Niro is capable of on a single charge.
Volkswagen will be back on the pace, or even in front, when the first of the new ID models arrives in the middle of 2020 (see panel). The ID.3 will have a range of up to 342 miles, and is the first of many all-electric cars scheduled from VW. The range has been previewed through concepts such as the ID. Crozz, ID. Vizzion and ID. Roomzz.
The VW Group has pledged to have 20 pure electric models on sale by 2025, selling more than a million emission-free models globally each year.
Volkswagen’s PHEVs have suffered from the same supply problems as the e-Up, so the Golf GTE is closed to new orders, too.
However, the newly facelifted Passat will again offer a GTE plug-in hybrid model in both saloon and estate bodystyles.
The car can travel 56km (35 miles) using electric power alone. When not in pure-EV mode, the electric motor works in tandem with the TSI petrol engine, giving a total power output of 218hp.
Volkswagen has not yet announced emissions figures for the new Passat GTE, but expect them to be confirmed soon. It should arrive in Britain this October.
STAYING COOL WITH ICE
VW won’t be abandoning petrol and diesel any time soon. The engines employed in the new Passat all feature particulate filters (the petrols as well as the diesels) to minimise harmful emissions and so improve local air quality.
The most efficient Golf diesel emits 104g/km of CO2, putting it in the 28% BIK bracket. That’s not bad, although the most efficient Ford Focus diesel (91g/km) and Kia Ceed (99g/km) emit significantly less.
The first of Volkswagen’s new ID family of electric vehicles is finally just around the corner. The ID.3 will be in production before the end of the year, but UK deliveries aren’t expected to start until next summer.
Volkswagen is already making some bold claims for its new model, saying it follows on from the Beetle and the Golf to start a third chapter in the company’s history.
The ID.3 will be available with three battery choices to suit different usage patterns. VW’s thinking is that owners shouldn’t have to pay for a high-capacity battery if the car won’t be used for long journeys. Depending on the battery size, range will vary from 330km (205 miles) to 550km (342 miles).
Pricing is yet to be confirmed, but VW says it will start from less than €40,000 (approximately £35,600).