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Volkswagen E-Golf to get limited testing release

Tue, 20 Mar 2012

Starting in April, Volkswagen of America will launch a test fleet of battery-powered E-Golf cars in select metro areas.

More selective than the BMW ActiveE program that included 700 drivers, Volkswagen will release only 20 EVs, 12 of which will be allocated to company employees.

Volkswagen said in a release that the purpose of the test is to conduct research and gather information on driving patterns, electric performance and climate conditions.

The people who receive those E-Golf testers will get a 220-volt charging station for their homes, as well as an iPhone with a special application that will monitor charging percentages, internal temperatures and other data. A Web portal for testers will be accessible 24/7 for feedback and help.

The E-Golf is powered by an on-board lithium-ion battery charged from a plug, located where the gas cap would usually be. The car can travel an estimated 93 miles on a charge, and it has regenerative braking.

People in San Francisco, Detroit and Washington, D.C., should begin looking out for E-Golfs in April.

A Volkswagen official could not be reached for comment regarding the process for allocating the 12 employee cars or the remaining eight electric Golfs.

By David Arnouts