Look, Ma! No exhaust pipe!
At the annual Press and Investors Conference on Friday in Wolfsburg, the home of Volkswagen, the company's first bet in the all-electric vehicle market made its debut. With a range of 93 miles (150 km) and recharging to 80% of capacity in just 30-40 minutes, the e-Up! should interest commuters but may also offer options for people willing to stretch their wings on the emerging electric-charging infrastructure.
The e-Up! two-door seats four
VW's two-door e-Up! closely resembles its siblings, the Up! and eco-Up!. The charging port hides behind what would be the "fuel door" on a petro-powered Up!. On the options list, VW offers a Combined Charging System (CCS) that supports both DC and AC supply.
Only the absence of a tail pipe and addition of some small badges give away the owner's ultimate devotion to moving the automotive infrastructure into a bright, new future -- which is perhaps not a good thing, as it takes away the "smug factor" from buyers' motivation list. Is the e-future really ready for that yet?
Characteristic Up! tail lights
The e-Up! specs based on the VW press release:
- An electric motor with 60 kW / 82 PS peak power, continuous power is 40 kW / 55 PS;
- Maximum torque of 210 Newton meters, available immediately with the first revolution;
- Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h within 14 seconds;
- Top speed of 135 km/h;
- The lithium-ion battery stores up to18.7 Kilowatt-hours (kWh);
- Vehicle weight of 1,185 kg.
The downside: even in Germany's futuristic energy landscape, charging points are still few and far between. To make matters worse, a recent German legal case determined that non-electric cars can park in spots reserved for charging e-cars, because many of the parking spots set up with charging points belong to the public space!
Fans of cars like the hyper-efficient Twike laud the bakeries that offer a free charge, but if e-cars take off, more charging options will be needed in a hurry.
Roomy enough for fairly tall people
The small size of the e-Up! belies a roomy comfort. The car seats people up to 6 1/2 feet (2m) tall comfortably, and can carry four people. The addition of such a cute city car to the e-car line up will surely bring smiles to many faces.
Bringing smiles to faces
The e-Up! will premier at the International Auto Show IAA in Frankfurt, after which VW will start taking orders.
The German weekly AutoBild reports that a starting price of 19,000 euros (US$25,000) has been discussed. This price does not include batteries, which would be rented at around 60 euros (US$80) per month.