New Volkswagen up! to be electric only

Big changes could be afoot for the VW up! as an exclusively electric model range is planned

Rising costs and new legislation will force VW into axing the regular up! city car and offer it as an electric vehicle only, company bosses have revealed.

The future of the up! has been hanging in the balance for some time but VW’s sales and marketing boss Jurgen Stackmann revealed to Auto Express that new regulations will make it impossible to justify a business case for a new, conventionally powered city car.

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“We are working to give a second life to the e-up! – it has big role to play in the next three to four year,” Stackmann told us. “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 the cars the size of the up! – its just not possible.”

The up! is built alongside its sister vehicles, the SEAT Mii and Skoda Citigo – but the project is said to have fallen short of VW’s own internal profit targets. Given the increased cost the project would pass on to SEAT and Skoda with VW’s withdrawal it’s unlikely that a successor to the Mii and Citigo will be developed, although that remains unconfirmed.

Stackmann added: “The 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.”

However, the e-up! will not become part of VW’s new ID. range of electric vehicles, Stackman told us. As the car is not able to switch to the new MEB platform it will sit as VW’s entry point to EV ownership.

What do you think VW should do with the up!? Let us know in the comments…

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