Volkswagen has released the UK price and spec for the new electric version of its up! citycar.
The e-up!, as it’s styled by the manufacturer, is on sale now with a starting price of £19,695 and an official range of 159 miles.
That claimed range is virtually twice the outgoing model’s official range of 83 miles.
Volkswagen’s engineers have also managed to bring down charging times on the electric citycar.
It now takes just 60 minutes to charge the battery to 80% of its capacity using a 40kW DC fast charging unit.
The longer range and faster charging time come courtesy of the addition of a larger lithium-ion battery pack with a net capacity of 32.3 kWh, up from 18.7 kWh in the previous-generation model.
Volkswagen first unveiled the e-up! in 2013 as the brand’s first fully-electric production car, and it went on sale in the UK early in 2014.
It is now a key member of Volkswagen’s electric family, although this will change when Volkswagen unveils its ID.3 model later this year.
The ID.3 will be the first VW designed as an electric car from the ground up, rather than an electric version of an existing petrol/diesel car.
One advantage of being based on an internal combustion model, however, is that it has all the features available to petrol/diesel drivers.
For the e-Up! this includes the same package of driver’s assistance, safety and connectivity technologies that others like the up! Beats, new up! R-Line and up! GTI receive, including a multifunction camera with Lane Assist, curtain airbags and smartphone integration cradle.
Also standard on the range-topping e-up! are comfort and convenience features including heated front seats and a heated windscreen, climate control, rain sensing wipers and electrically heated and adjustable door mirrors. Cruise control is also fitted at no additional cost.
The zero-emissions e-up! is identifiable by its 15-inch ‘Tezzle’ wheels, bespoke bumpers and C-shaped daytime running lights, with blue strips in the front grille and across the boot lid signifying the car’s zero-emission status.
The e-up! also has the accolade of being the first electric car to bear the new Volkswagen logo.
Volkswagen UK’s Tim O’Donovan said: “We are very pleased to have secured limited stock in the UK for this latest electric version of our popular city car.
“With a proven electric powertrain, impressive range, and excellent value-for-money the e-up! is a zero-emissions city car that can venture far beyond the city limits.
“Volkswagen is entering the era of the electric ‘People’s Car’. After finding great success with the e-up! and e-Golf we are excited to see the ID.3 arriving on our shores this summer, which will be our first ground-up new electric car based on the MEB platform.“
The “MEB platform” is VW jargon for a set of common design and production arrangements that can be used to produce a range of cars. In MEB’s case it is the platform for electric cars made by Volkswagen and subsidiary companies like Audi, Seat and Skoda.
Models include the Audi Q4 e-tron, Seat el-Born and Skoda Vision iV – all of which are expected to enter production and start being sold later this year.
The Volkswagen ID.3 (also pictured) has been in production since November. It will have a max range of up to 340 miles for the top-spec Pro S model with a 77 kWh battery.
Entry-level Pure models with standard 48 kWh batteries will have an official range of up to 205 miles.
The first models of the ID.3 should go on sale in the UK and Ireland in the second half of this year.