The all-electric Volkswagen e-up! (yes, seriously) is now available to order in the UK, bolstering the model range of the acclaimed city car beyond the facelifted petrol versions already on sale.
The e-up! replaces petrol power with an electric motor generating 82hp and a useful 210Nm of torque. Despite the hefty weight of battery and electric motor, the e-up! still manages to weigh less than the equivalent petrol model.
A full charge from a regular household plug takes nine hours. Volkswagen will also sell you a wall box for your garage, which provides a higher level of electricity transfer and takes the charging time down to six hours. If you are using a fast charging station, the company claims you can charge 80% of the battery in half an hour. An appropriate cable is included for this purpose.
The e-up! picks up the same styling details as the recently facelifted petrol models, which are distinguishable from earlier models by new front and rear bumpers. Unique to the electric version is a pair of C-shaped LED daytime running lights instead of regular fog lights on other models. The electric model also gets its own alloy wheel design.
The electric model is based on the petrol High up! specification. Inside, a smartphone docking station enables the driver’s phone to be integrate into the car’s infotainment system. Tinted rear glass and carpet mats as standard help with insulation, which is more critical for an electric car due to the energy cost of running heating or cooling to control cabin temperature.
Your smartphone can also be used to manage charging and switch on air-conditioning from an e-up! app for iOS or Android. Volkswagen includes three years of subscription to the app when purchasing the car, but after that you will have to pay to subscribe for this service.
The e-up! gets all the same safety systems as the petrol models, which includes autonomous emergency braking as standard. The petrol up! scored five stars from Euro NCAP back in 2011, however the crash testing standards have increased since that time and no more recent information is available.
Emissions shouldn’t be as troublesome for the e-up! as they are for some other Volkswagen models, as there are none being emitted directly by the car.
The on-road price of an e-up! is £20,780, which includes the government’s plug-in grant of £4,500. This is considerably more than the price of the comparable petrol auto High up! model, which is priced at £12,880. From a financial point of view, you will need to do a lot of miles to recoup the extra purchase cost.
Most people are more likely to finance the vehicle than buy it in cash, and Volkswagen Financial Services is offering PCP terms of 6.4% representative APR and a £900 deposit contribution. This is a higher APR than Volkswagen is offering on the petrol High up!, although the deposit contribution is slightly higher (£900 vs. £500).