The updated all-electric Volkswagen e-up! city car is on sale now, with a claimed range of 159 miles and a starting price of £19,695
The updated Volkswagen e-up! has gone on sale in the UK, priced from £19,695 including the Government’s £3,500 plug-in car grant. The revised all-electric city car has almost double the range of its predecessor, thanks to a larger-capacity battery pack, a handful of efficiency tweaks and a reworked electric powertrain.
Volkswagen has upgraded the e-up!’s battery pack from 18.7kWh to 32.3kWh in capacity, increasing the car’s maximum claimed range from 83 miles to 159 miles. The German brand also says the e-up!’s new battery pack can recover an 80 per cent charge in just 60 minutes when plugged into a 40kW DC fast charger.
• New Volkswagen e-up! review
As with the outgoing model, the new e-up! is powered by a 61kW electric motor, which produces the equivalent of 81bhp and 210Nm of torque. Volkswagen says its 0–62mph time has improved by half a second to stand at 11.9 seconds, although the car’s top speed remains unchanged, at 81mph.
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As standard, the updated e-up! comes with a set of aerodynamically efficient 15-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, a lane-departure warning system, rain-sensing windscreen wipers, Bluetooth connectivity and a DAB radio. Buyers also get heated front seats, a heated windscreen and automatic air-conditioning.
Volkswagen has also fitted its “Maps+More” smartphone integration system in place of a conventional infotainment screen, in an effort to keep down costs. It comprises a cradle for the dashboard and an application, which lets the driver’s phone handle navigation, media and radio functions, as well as provide displays for the e-up!’s charging status and range.
The Volkswagen up! has faced an uncertain future for some time but, at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, Volkswagen’s Head of Sales and Marketing, Jurgen Stackmann, revealed to Auto Express that new regulations will make it impossible to make a business case for a new conventionally powered city car.
Stackmann explained: “We are working to give a second life to the e-up! – it has a big role to play over the next three to four years. In the long term, the big question mark is, if the legal system is pursuing and implementing the legal regulations they have just confirmed, there is not a single business case for conventional cars the size of the up! – it’s just not possible.”
The revised e-up! will be built alongside its sister vehicles, the Skoda Citigo e iV and the SEAT Mii electric, both of which will feature the same electric motor, battery pack and cost saving smartphone-operated infotainment system.
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Stackmann added: “These cars are too small to carry high technology and a normal combustion engine is just impossible to reach the required CO2 levels. So in theory you’d have to sell an electric car to compensate for the problem of a [conventional] Up! where the margin is already thin. We are focusing on the e-up! going forwards.”
Despite Volkswagen’s new-found interestment in its all-electric city car, Stackmann informed us that the e-up! will not become part of the brand’s new range of ID.-branded electric vehicles. Volkswagen will instead produce a Polo sized electric supermini using the MEB platform, possibly priced from around £20,000, but battery costs mean it is unlikely to surface as a production model until 2023 at the earliest.
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