Battery VW e-Up! on sale in UK
LONDON, England - Right-hand drive VW e-Up! battery cars will go on sale today (Dec 2 2013) in the UK priced at £24 250 (the equivalent of R400 000) - though from that the buyer can deduct the UK government's grant of R82 500.
Buyers can order through one of 24 VW electric vehicle dealers across the UK; first deliveries are expected at the end of January 2014. VW SA says: "We are still busy with feasibility studies of introducing the normal Up! in SA. The e-Up! will be considered if we can launch the normal model in SA."
Based on the multi-award winning Up! city car, the e-Up! comes in one high-specification trim level. With zero tailpipe emissions, a range of up to 150km in optimum conditions, and a standard full charge taking less than nine hours from a standard 230V, 2.3 kW household socket, the five-door e-Up! is, VW says, "as practical as it is environmentally friendly".
RANGE OF DRIVE MODES
The car’s AC electric motor produces 60kW and 210Nm of torque. The lithium-ion battery is rated at 374V and 18.7kWh. As well as a standard driving mode, the e-Up! has two economy profiles as standard: Eco and Eco+. The first cuts the vehicle’s peak power to 50kW, reduces the output of the airc and modifies the throttle response. Eco+ limits maximum power to 40kW, further modifies the throttle response and disables the aircon.
On top of these different operating modes, the range of the e-Up! can be greatly influenced by regenerative braking. There are five modes available: D, D1, D2, D3 and B. In D, the vehicle coasts when the accelerator is lifted. In each of the next levels, lifting off the throttle pedal provides an increased level of regenerative braking. In D2, D3 and B, the brake lights are automatically activated when the driver’s foot is lifted from the throttle pedal.
(That's because a battery car brakes sharply when the right foot is lifted as the forward motion immediately goes into recharge mode. - Editor)
0-60 IN FIVE SECONDS
In the UK e-Up! customers will be offered an optional wall box for home garage use. This provides a 3.6kW supply and can fully recharge a flat battery in six hours. On top of this, all e-Up!s have a DC fast-charging circuit: using a combined charging system this enables a flat battery to be charged to 80% in 30 minutes, at levels of up to 40kW using a DC supply.
Cables are provided to connect to both a standard UK three-pin socket and a CCS socket.
Where conditions permit, the e-Up! can reach 130km/h. It can easily keep up with urban and suburban traffic, thanks to a 0-60km/h time of 4.9sec and a 0-100km/h time of 12.4sec.
VW says the e-Up! can be identified by badges on the front wings and boot lid, as well as by distinctive C-shaped diode daytime running lights and by special 15" alloy rims. The cabin has upholstery edged in blue; the leather-covered steering wheel, mode shifter and handbrake each have blue stitching.
On top of the standard specification of the range-topping petrol-powered High Up! model, which includes luxuries such as heatable front seats, cruise control and satnav, the e-Up! adds a heatable windscreen, digital radio with six-speakers, emergency braking, rear parking sensors and auto aircon.
As well as the standard Bluetooth connectivity and navigation functions of the petrol Up! satnav the e-Up!’s unit shows charge point locations, range mapping (one-way and round-trip) and vehicle charging management functions, including the ability to pre-set interior heating or cooling times.
Certain vehicle functions can also be operated remotely using an iPhone or Android cellphone. The e-Up! will be delivered in the UK with a three-year subscription that allows users to control or get information on charging status, battery management, doors and lighting, driving data, aircon and the vehicle location
The e-up! comes with a standard three-year warranty, with the option to extend this by one or two years. The vehicle’s battery comes with an eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty, while the standard service interval is 10,000 miles or one year, whichever comes soonest.
The e-up! is available to order from 2 December, with first deliveries expected at the end of January 2014. More details will be available in due course.