Volkswagen Prices First Electric Car; 2015 e-Golf Will Cost $36,265

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Volkswagen today announced pricing for the all-new 2015 e-Golf as the electric hatchback prepares to “charge” into dealerships in the fall. VW’s first fully electric, zero-emissions vehicle starts at $36,265, including an $820 destination charge, for the SEL Premium model.

Related: More Electric Cars Than Ever, Still Not Available Everywhere

The e-Golf, which we first saw at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show, is powered by a compact electric motor and 24.2-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, good for 115 horsepower and 199 pounds-feet of torque. It’s mated to a single-speed automatic transmission. Volkswagen said the e-Golf has an average range of 70 to 90 miles and a 7.2-kilowatt onboard charger, achieving an 80 percent battery charge within 30 minutes. The hatchback offers three driver-selectable modes: Normal, Eco and Eco Plus.

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Standard exterior features include 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, power adjustable and heated exterior mirrors, LED headlights, and body-colored exterior mirror caps, moldings, door handles and bumpers. Standard interior features include V-Tex leatherette seating surfaces with front manual lumbar support, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, split-folding rear seats, heated front seats, automatic dual-zone air conditioning, and a leather-wrapped handbrake, shifter knob and steering wheel. Tech features include a 5.8-inch touch-screen multimedia system with navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, SiriusXM satellite radio and VW Car-Net connected services in addition to keyless entry, a backup camera, front and rear Park Distance Control, and an automatic post-collision braking system.

Fans of the regular Golf’s competitive interior and cargo space won’t have their style cramped by the electric version. The e-Golf boasts the same 22.8 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and 52.7 cubic feet with the rear seats folded, as well as overall interior space of 93.5 cubic feet, as its gas-powered sibling.

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What’s not identical between the two is starting price. The e-Golf’s $36,265 price tag is nearly twice that of the regular 2015 Golf, which starts at $18,815 with destination. It’s also significantly more expensive than 2015 versions of competitors the Nissan Leaf ($29,860) and Fiat 500e ($32,650), but on par with the 2014 Ford Focus Electric ($35,995). Buyers will decide if it’s worth the extra charge when the e-Golf goes on sale in November in select states.

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Former Assistant Managing Editor-News Matt Schmitz is a veteran Chicago journalist indulging his curiosity for all things auto while helping to inform car shoppers. Email Matt Schmitz

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