Volkswagen electrifies the up!
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Volkswagen revealed its first all-electric production vehicle last week at the Annual Press and Investors Conference in Wolfsburg. The e-up! boasts a driving range of over 150 kilometres and will make its official world debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show later this year.
To maximise range, the e-up! has had its bodywork tweaked with aerodynamics in mind. The front bumper, sills and undercarriage all feature changes to ensure air passes round the car as cleanly as possible. In addition the all-electric model has been fitted with lightweight, 15-inch alloy wheels, blue Volkswagen badges and an e-up! badge round the back.
The inside of the e-up! is a very simplistic affair. All the switchgear and instruments have been carried forward from the standard model; however, the fuel gauge has been replaced by a battery meter and a range display. The seats have been reupholstered in grey with contrast blue stitching, while leather and chrome inserts have been fitted to denote the electric model.
The 40kW (54hp) electric motor coupled to an 18.7kWh battery pack means the e-up! is good for a 150-kilometre range on a single charge. As well as a decent range, the e-up! can hit 0-100km/h in 14 seconds and go on to a top speed of 135km/h. Charging is a fairly swift affair too, as Volkswagen claims that 80 per cent of the battery can be topped up in 30 minutes via the socket hidden behind the fuel filler flap. Volkswagen will also fit a Combined Charging System (CCS) as an optional extra, enabling owners to charge from either an AC or DC power source.
Volkswagen Ireland will launch the e-up! in 2014 and though no official word has been received, we believe it'll cost in the region of €20,000 before any potential government grant for electric vehicles, which could bring it down to about €15,000.
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