This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Volkswagen Launches the People's Electric Car

Stocks in this article: VLKAY TM GM F

The basic throttle response and braking feels very similar to the Mercedes B-class, Chevy Volt, Ford Focus and Nissan Leaf. They are all well-balanced and exhibit a lack of drama. It's really the other factors that set them apart -- seating position, steering wheel, instrumentation controls and so forth.

The outlier of the group is clearly the BMW i3. It feels like nothing else on wheels. The BMW has a dramatically precise steering and an amazing accelerator pedal with a supremely calibrated regenerative braking. Nothing else on the road comes close.

The BMW i3 is so different to drive that I find it polarizing. It's so superior in its sharpness but at the same time I fear it may become tiring to drive. It has the potential for making me car sick because of the heavy g-forces throwing my head in all four directions as I brake, accelerate and steer. While I have driven the i3, I think, at nine times now, I still need to drive it for at least a couple of full days in order to be able to tell more conclusively whether I would prefer to live with its sharp responses from steering and pedals.

In contrast, the VW eGolf could almost put you to sleep because it is so calming and smooth, as are most of the other competitors. This is meant in a good way.

What about the other factors?

The Chevrolet Volt and BMW i3 offer one thing the competition does not: gasoline backup, which is optional in the BMW i3 and standard in the Volt. For some people, this is an absolute requirement for living with a plug-in car.

In terms of DC fast-charging, the VW Golf electric will have the new charging combined DC/AC standard, just like the BMW i3 and for that matter the West-Coast-only Chevrolet Spark. This is unlike the Mercedes B-class and Ford Focus, neither of which offers any DC charging.

Bottom line: Strong entry into a tiny market

If you absolutely need to have a pure EV in this price range -- $30,000 to $50,000 -- the VW Golf electric should be your top choice side by side with the Mercedes B-class and perhaps the BMW i3. However, for most people the Chevrolet Volt is the better option because of its gasoline backup.

For another $10,000 or more over the Volt, the BMW i3 with range-extender also provides some of this benefit, although with a tiny and difficult to manage two-gallon gasoline tank.

In order to sell more plug-in cars, VW needs to launch plug-in hybrids as well as pure EVs with longer range. There is no doubt in my mind that we will see such models from VW on U.S. roads before 2017.

At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.

This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.

>>Read more: Why Twitter Has More Upside Than Facebook

>>Read more: How Microsoft Changed the Console Wars

3 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 18,030.21 +6.04 0.03%
S&P 500 2,081.88 -0.29 -0.01%
NASDAQ 4,773.4720 +8.0480 0.17%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs