You'll be able to buy an electric VW up! from the end of this year, but as it’s expected to cost twice as much in showrooms as the petrol model, will the new version still be as appealing?
We tested an e-up! prototype in January 2012, and were impressed by its refinement and punchy acceleration. The good news is, that’s still the case.
The car uses an 80bhp electric motor teamed with a lithium-ion battery, which sits below the seats to boost boot space. Volkswagen has lopped 50kg from the unit, so it now adds only 150kg to the kerbweight of the up!.
The revised e-up! is just as easy and fun to drive as the petrol car, with instant torque providing great throttle response and near-silent progress. The 13-second 0-60mph time isn’t far behind its stablemate’s.
Charge time is five-and-a-half hours for a 93-mile range. That’s better than a Nissan Leaf’s eight hours, but more than the Ford Focus BEV’s four hours.
A subtle ‘e-up!’ badge on the side indicates electric power, while the cabin has sat-nav with a range gauge and charging point locator.
We’re expecting a UK price of £17,000 after the Government grant. That removes a lot of the value appeal of the standard up!, and pits it against capable rivals like Renault’s ZOE – although on that car you have to lease the batteries.