For some reason, Volkswagen has rescinded its plans to sell the 2020 VW e-Golf in the U.S., which means it’s probably dead for America altogether.
Back in August, VW announced its updated lineup for the 2020 model year in a press release, which included the e-Golf. CarsDirect reports that press release was retroactively edited in October of 2019 to remove the announcement of the 2020 e-Golf. From CarsDirect:
On October 29, an unexplained edit was posted stating that the e-Golf was removed from the list as there would be no 2020 model available. Although today company spokesman Mark Gillies declined to confirm if the model has been discontinued, he did state that 2020 e-Golf production was allocated to Canada and therefore will not be sold in the U.S.
This comes in a seemingly confusing turn of events as the EPA had already tested the vehicle for fuel economy. The 2020 model was actually rated worse than the 2019 model, something Gillies previously stated was due to a change in the calculation method. Although we have no official insight into the reason for the company’s decision, the electric car market is becoming increasingly competitive with vehicles like the Tesla Model 3, Nissan Leaf, and Chevy Bolt EV, which all have more range than the e-Golf.
The update on the August 2019 VW press release reads:
Update on 10/29/19: Removed e-Golf. No MY20 e-Golf will be available.
Since the press release doesn’t clarify which markets the model was planned for, it’s unclear if there will be no 2020 e-Golf in all of North America, or just no e-Golf in the U.S. Jalopnik reached out to VW and will update when more information is available.
Update, 10:54 a.m.: A VW rep told Jalopnik the 2019 model year e-Golf is still available in the U.S., and the allocation for 2020 models went to Canada. There will not be another e-Golf anytime in the near future due to the new MEB platform models already in production in Europe and coming soon to the U.S.
So, it’s likely they will continue to sell here until they’re out of 2019 model year cars.
The 2019 VW e-Golf makes 134 horsepower and 214 lb-ft, has an EPA-estimated 125-mile range, and starts at $31,895 before tax and fees and is still available for the full $7,500 federal tax rebate (which would drop the price to $24,395).
Perhaps that’s why it’s dying in the U.S., where the best-selling EV is currently the Tesla Model 3, which boasts a range of at least 250 miles and a starting price of $39,990 online, or cheaper if you order the base model through a Tesla sales center. While the diminished federal incentive for Tesla doesn’t get the price down anywhere near the e-Golf, it’s performance is much more significant.
The e-Golf also has to go up against the Chevy Bolt, with an EPA-estimated 259 miles of range and 200 horsepower, and a starting price of $37,495 (before the remaining available $1,875 federal rebate). But the closest competition would be the Nissan Leaf S, with 146 HP and 236 lb-ft of torque, a range of 150 miles, and a starting price of $31,600 before rebates, which could get it down as low as $24,100.
Maybe VW isn’t confident the e-Golf will be worth the trip over to the U.S. by the time customers size it up against its competitors, or maybe VW doesn’t want to muddy its EV lineup over here as it introduces an all-new, likely much-improved electric crossover later this year.
Either way it’s unfortunate, as a Golf with an EV powertrain sounds like a lot of obvious fun on paper.