US: Volkswagen plans to take on the Leaf with e-Golf image

The German automaker has recently announced it has a new entry-level electric car, which is around $4,500 more affordable than its current lowest-priced model in the segment.

The e-Golf SE is a 2016 model coming to certain areas of the United States this fall and the new pricing strategy puts it into direct competition with the Nissan Leaf, the world’s top selling battery-electric auto. The Leaf is also the leader of the US electric market and VW of America looks keen to change that situation. The 2015 Nissan Leaf – the Japanese company has not shed any details on the 2016 model yet – will now be $55 more expensive than the $29,815 e-Golf SE model year 2016. The e-Golf SE will join its more premium version, the e-Golf SEL, both sold across ten US states in the Northeast and Pacific Coast. Naturally, the company expects the best sales for the models to occur in California, the most populous state in the country and a well known promoter of green vehicles.

But the e-Golf will not only fend off against the Leaf, but also against the general fall of the electric segment as consumers have been rekindling their affection for large SUVs and pickup trucks as gasoline prices hover at lower levels than last year. According to the AAA travel group, average gasoline prices this week were at $2.63 a gallon of regular, which is 25 percent cheaper than during the same period last year. Through July, Nissan’s Leaf lost 30 percent of its sales compared to last year and totaled almost 11,000 units. Meanwhile, VW only delivered 1,831 e-Golf SEL premium and e-Golf Limited autos this year.

Via Reuters