Automotive

Volkswagen announces its first electric production car – the e-up!

The e-up! is powered by an 81-hp electric motor
The e-up! is powered by an 81-hp electric motor
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Volkswagen showed the e-up at its media conference this week
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Volkswagen showed the e-up at its media conference this week
The e-up is VW's first electric vehicle
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The e-up is VW's first electric vehicle
The e-up! is powered by an 81-hp electric motor
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The e-up! is powered by an 81-hp electric motor
The e-up! has a range of 93 miles (150 km)
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The e-up! has a range of 93 miles (150 km)
The interior includes chrome and leather accents
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The interior includes chrome and leather accents
The interior includes chrome and leather accents
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The interior includes chrome and leather accents
e-up! interior
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e-up! interior

Volkswagen may be a bit late to the electric vehicle game, as far as major global manufacturers go, but it's making up for it quickly. Hot on the heels of the world premiere of its e-Co-Motion electric van concept and the revolutionary XL1 hybrid, the company is introducing its first electric production car – the e-up! – which made its debut at its Annual Press and Investors Conference. The electric up! is a city car that can travel up to 93 miles (150 km) per charge.

Volkswagen has been growing its line of up! city cars for the past several years. The four-seat e-up!, which debuted as a concept at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, brings a zero-local-emissions presence to the line, and according to Volkswagen, also a "nearly zero noise" presence.

The e-up! is powered by an 81-hp electric motor and 18.7 kWh lithium-ion battery. The motor puts out 155 lb-ft (210 Nm) of torque and sends the car rolling to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 14 seconds. Its top speed is 83 mph (135 km/h). The car doesn't receive the intensive weight savings of the XL1, but it does manage to keep light at 2,612 lbs. (1,185 kg).

In terms of charging, the e-up! will offer an optional Combined Charging System that will allow for charging from both AC and DC sources. Volkswagen has not detailed exactly how long charging will take.

The interior includes chrome and leather accents
The interior includes chrome and leather accents

The styling of the e-up! is simple, blending unassumingly with the rest of the up! family. A few changes include the smiley, curved LED daytime running lamps and aerodynamically optimized front-end, sills and underbody. The car rolls on 15-inch alloy wheels. Inside it features light grey seat covers with blue stitching and leather and chrome accents.

The e-up! will make its official auto show debut at this year's Frankfurt Motor Show, and VW will begin taking orders shortly thereafter.

Source: Volkswagen

11 comments
Slowburn
What is its range at highway speeds say 105kph? How much range will a single short ramp high speed merge cost? How soon will it be necessary to replace the battery pack and how much will it cost? How much more will it cost than an identical room and performance TDE (or ICE in general) powered car. If I wanted to drive from Denver Colorado to Grand Junction Colorado a distance of 391 km in an ICE powered car with a 150 km range without paying the high mountain town fuel prices I could put a few jerrycans of fuel in back and I'm good to go.
Freyr Gunnar
I don't understand why so many manufacturers go for 100% electric instead of plug-in hybrids (where the small combustion engine is only used to fill the battery when it's too low). www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/phevtech.shtml http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plug-in_hybrid Due to the high purchase price + small range + long charging time + dearth of power stations, 100% electric cars just don't make sense for individuals, while plug-in hybrids are a good interim solution until batteries improve significantly.
BigGoofyGuy
For some, an electric battery only vehicle makes sense. If ones commute is short and one does not go near or use highways, then an EV would make sense. The tricky part would be getting it recharged; something that would be easy if one has a garage with outlets or park near where one can get a charger close to the vehicle. I travel about 15 miles to work; round trip. I don't use highways to get there. The only tricky part would be to get the apartment complex to get a power outlet near my car so it could be charged. With some apartments closer to parking spaces, it would be easier for some.
BeWalt
It really depends on the circumstances. Somebody driving over the Rockies should not pick one of these, simple as that. Somebody commuting the same 20 miles every day for 25 years should. Electric cars and plug-in hybrids are a part of a sturdy future energy grid, they can partially solve the storage problem for renewable energy. I think it was the new Nissan Leaf I read about being able to feed power back to the grid if that is needed. If only industry could agree on the standards needed, or some governments actually made a framework. (remember GSM?). There was an interesting article (NYT) pointing out how many people put down 10 grand for a good emergency power generator for hurricanes. What a wasted investment that is in the context of electric cars! A generator that runs once every year, if at all. And then funny, people complain that electric cars are 10000 bucks more expensive than gas cars, and then they go out and buy a 10k genset. I'm not saying that's how it is for everyone, but there are already many cases just like that.
duh3000
In agreement with both bewalt and bigwarpguy. There is a pressing need for contributors to consider the ''not everyone is me'' factor before writing. I -- but not everyone -- generally enjoy cycling to my destinations whenever I can. Bikes being relatively inexpensive, I have a few in my shed and choose the best one for each job : a recumbent or touring bike for long distances, a well-used city bike for in-town shopping trips, an electric-assist when the wind comes up... and always an efficient light-weight upright if climbing is involved. An EV in the mountains? Car or bike, plain silly.
Slowburn
The problem with electric cars is that they are expensive for what they provide and their range can not be effectively extended. You can not drive it all night to give comfort in an emergency which makes a big difference if the emergency happens on a busy travel day. Watch the mother trying to get home in Home Alone.
Fretting Freddy the Ferret pressing the Fret
Production prices for hybrid and electric vehicles are steadily dropping. Tax benefits, fuel savings and incentives are making the difference for people that want to buy a second car to travel to work in anticipation of rising fuel prices. So many big cities in the world could learn what's happening in London and what has already happened in the Netherlands. Commuting by bike is the way to go for short trips. London is looking at its neighbors in the Netherlands (-the- ideal model) on how to create good cycling infrastructure that's logical, safe and integrated. Cycling in London is equally fast or faster than by car or bus, but the infrastructure still needs some work. The good cycling infrastructure in the Netherlands have resulted in the lowest accidents among cyclists in the world, where the cyclists wear no helmet or reflective vests, because it's simply safe enough to do so! History of the cycle paths in the Netherlands: www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuBdf9jYj7o
Slowburn
re; Fretting Freddy the Ferret pressing the Fret Tax benefits and incentives (Money taken from taxpayers to pay for the overpriced, underpreforming vehicle.) are the most annoying problem with the EVs. Electricity producers receive at least as much "subsidies" as big oil.
T N Args
@Slowburn, your questions show you are a typical person in that you suffer from range anxiety. Research shows that range anxiety is unnecessary anxiety. A range of 150km is plenty for urban use. Some people want one car for everything, but a lot of people have a small car for city use. They are the intended customer for the e-up, and it suits them. Does it look like an inter-urban or cross-country vehicle to you? And the battery-pack life question is turning out to be unnecessary negativity, too. Look at the Prius; Toyota now say its battery lasts the life of the vehicle. So battery replacement cost is not a factor.
duh3000
O. K. Slowburn doesn't like EV's. We get it. But other people do. And these vehicles can serve very practical purposes, especially as round-town commuters or errand vehicles. Reducing urban congestion and pollution are also worth the effort. But I don't expect these obvious advantages will carry much weight for anyone who thinks watching a film is research.
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