However, this improved performance won’t be matched by a new look, because the refreshed Golf EV will, as confirmed by a glimpse at the Paris motor show, look largely unchanged from the current car. This is good news for polite Brits. Let me explain why.
Buying an EV is increasingly becoming a decision based as much on design as on environmental, economic or social reasons. Models like the BMW i3, while undoubtedly cool looking, just don’t blend in. Even the Renault Zoe flaunts its tree-hugging personality with a cuddly design and the Nissan Leaf looks quite different from the rest of its maker's range. Imagine pulling onto your driveway in one of those: the curtains of neighbouring houses would be twitching like mad.
The Volkswagen e-Golf, on the other hand, is both discreet and good-looking. It’s the electric car for the understated driver who wants to reduce emissions and save fuel costs without shouting about it too much. Its driver wants to help the world but doesn’t want to bother Mrs Jones while going about it.
When the Volkswagen ID arrives in 2020, it’ll bring with it a more striking, futuristic design. It’ll also pretty much make the e-Golf irrelevant with a significantly more advanced EV drivetrain, so the 2017 e-Golf could well be the last understated EV that Volkswagen ever makes.