Volkswagen has taken its first step in making a real play in the electric mobility space through the e-Golf Pilot Project which is is a study in South Africa’s response to electric mobility.
Six e-Golfs will be evaluated by a select group of VW dealers, motoring and lifestyle media, as well as VW employees, to derive as much on-the-ground information about living with e-vehicles on a day-to-day basis.
We can expect that select dealers in Cape Town and Johannesburg will also make use of the cars to educate customers in electric mobility. Using the cars for shuttle services to and from dealers, as well as making them available as courtesy cars for certain customers, will form part of the evaluations.
Electric vehicles ‘future of our brand’
“With the help of our dealers, we want to get as many South Africans as possible to drive and experience an electric vehicle as this is the future of our brand,” Volkswagen Group South Africa sales and marketing manager Mike Glendinning said.
The e-Golf looks about as normal as any other Golf with slight revisions to the grille and wheels. So much so that you may not be able to tell the difference between the e-Golf and a combustion engine-powered version.
VW e-Golf and ID.3
However, you will be able to see a marked difference between the e-Golf and the latest electric hatch from Volkswagen, the ID.3, which will also form part of the project in Mzansi.
If you’re an avid social media user, you may have noticed a few VW ID.3 models being tested in and around Gauteng a few weeks ago. Keen-eyed spotters posted a number of images and videos on social platforms and by all accounts the reception was good.
These cars will form the next phase of the electric mobility project in South Africa, with a group of these set to be introduced in 2021 for similar evaluation.
During this pilot phase, no e-Golfs or ID.3’s will be on sale to customers who may want to purchase them. The only time that Volkswagen plan to sell these vehicles is from 2022 as the final phase of the e-mobility project.
It’s not the first project of its kind on the continent.
In October 2019, Volkswagen launched a similar, albeit slightly larger project of this nature, in Rwanda to test the feasibility of electric mobility in the central African country.