Category Archives: e-Up

2017 Volkswagen e-Up review

What is it?

The Volkswagen e-Up is the pure-electric version of VW’s popular Up city car. When it was launched the EV market was still in its early stages, but now, three years on, the alternative-fuel market is bigger and continuing to grow.

The e-Up has received a light update to keep it fresh, but nothing mechanical has changed. The main alterations are a revised front bumper and rear light clusters, and aside from that it’s all very familiar. As such, its claimed range stays at 99 miles and it’s powered by the same 18.7kWh lithium-ion battery pack that generates 81bhp and 155lb ft of instantly available torque. For a full charge, expect a three-point plug to take around nine hours, although a fast-charger will take 30 minutes to provide 80%.

Although electric cars are growing in popularity, the usual caveat applies: the compromises that their limited range and our still-limited infrastructure bring means they have to suit your lifestyle. Still, if you’re after a city car, you’re unlikely to be covering big miles, so is the e-Up the ideal electric car?

What’s it like?

This is no standalone electric model like the Nissan Leaf or BMW i3. Being based on the five-door Up means the e-Up is very familiar in appearance and dynamics.

That’s no bad thing. The Up is one of the best city cars you can buy, so it’s a great grounding to base an electric car on. With instant torque, off the line the e-Up feels much sharper than its petrol-powered equivalent, and its silent cruising makes it relaxing to drive through congested cities.

Read more: Autocar

2016 Volkswagen e-Golf

VW To Focus On Electric and Plug-In Hybrid Tech

The Volkswagen diesel-emission cheating scandal has caused executive heads to roll, cars to be yanked off sale, and regulators to pore over real-world emission data with a laser-like focus.

2016 Volkswagen e-Golf
2016 Volkswagen e-Golf

It has made the future of the VW Group as the world’s largest carmaker seem far more perilous than it did just one month ago.

This morning, the company’s board of directors released a statement laying out its plans to move forward, even as it cuts capital investments by 1 billion Euros ($1.14 billion) to cope with the crisis.

It contains a laundry list of adjustments to VW’s planned future technology investments, including more focus on electrified drivetrains.

Read more: Green Car Reports

Electric vehicles offer big savings on servicing

At last some data to confirm what most EV owners already suspected

When fleets compare electric vehicle (EV) costs with diesel, most of the emphasis is put on the P11d price and fuel. However, there are also significant differences in service and maintenance costs. Put simply, servicing and maintenance of a fully-electric vehicle is estimated to cost between 25% and 40% less than that of a petrol or diesel car.

“There are fewer parts that will require maintenance in an EV,” explains Chris Chandler, principal consultant, fleet consultancy, at leasing giant Lex Autolease.

Unlike petrol or diesel vehicles, which have dozens of moving components in their engine and transmission, EVs have a simple drivetrain, typically consisting of just three parts: an on-board charger, inverter and motor.

When Ford unveiled its Focus electric car in America in 2012, it listed more than 20 items used in petrol and diesel cars but not in EVs that require inspection, maintenance or replacement over a vehicle’s 10-year/150,000-mile life.

These included the alternator, power steering fluid (it uses electrical assistance), radiator and assorted pipework, spark plugs, starter motor, thermostat, timing belt and a water pump.

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This makes an EV cheaper and means there are fewer moving parts to go wrong, resulting in improved reliability and on-road times.

On top of this, EVs require no oil changes, spark plugs, air filter, transmission fluid, exhaust pipe or radiator hoses, all of which can add to the service, maintenance and repair (SMR) costs of a petrol or diesel vehicle.

The relative simplicity of an EV’s drivetrain is reflected in its SMR costs, according to Nissan. It says that both the Leaf and Nissan e-NV200 cost “considerably less to service and maintain than diesel or petrol alternatives”.

Read more: Fleet News

Volkswagen e-Up! review: Up against it

Say it quickly: “ee-up”. That Volkswagen feels happy to call its smallest electric car after the Yorkshire phrase for “hello” shows that Germans do truly have a sense of humour. We jest, of course – Yorkshiremen and women don’t say “ee up”, they say “ay up” – as Volkswagen’s press sheet for this car wryly points out.

Yorkshire greetings aside, the e-Up! poses a question: should you go electric? It’s been difficult to make a like-for-like choice between petrol, diesel and electric models, as most electric cars to date have tended to be standalone – the Nissan Leaf, BMW i3, Tesla Model S are all electric-only models. You can’t have a petrol version.

However, a few ranges are starting to appear which offer like-for-like choice – and Volkswagen has recently added electric versions of both Up! and Golf to its range. Bar some badges and wheel trims, you really won’t be able to spot the difference between them and their internal combustion-powered counterparts, so they could be the perfect option for electric car fans who don’t want to shout about their propulsion choice.

But taking the electric plunge will take some getting your head around, especially when it comes to price. At £19,270 – and that’s after the £5,000 UK government rebate – the e-Up! is one pricey small car. By way of comparison, the higher trim level version of the petrol Up! – on which the e-Up! is based (and that’s enough of the unwarranted exclamation mark after its name, by the way) – starts at £11,760 in five-door form, and although Volkswagen would point out there’s a host of extra kit that comes with the electric version, you’re still looking at the chunky end of a seven grand premium just to go battery powered. Perhaps more troubling for VW will be the fact that the larger, stand-alone Renault Zoe kicks off at a little over £14k.

So even before you’ve got in the driver’s seat, the e-Up is, er, up against it. Is it really worth so much cash?

Electric benefits

To save that seven grand you’re going to have to be doing an incredible amount of driving over the car’s life – at current prices, 10,000 miles in a petrol Up is likely to cost you about £1,000 in fuel.

Either that, or be extremely committed to the green cause, which isn’t entirely clear cut – electric cars aren’t truly zero emission because their electricity is most likely produced by a gas or coal power station.

From our perspective then, where the e-Up is going to make most sense is in the experience it provides. If it provides something better, extra or different over a petrol Up, then you shouldn’t rule it out.

And after jumping into the car and heading off down the road, there are some obvious benefits: the most obvious being performance. We love the 3-cylinder petrol engines in the regular Up, but they’re never what you’d call fast. And while the e-Up is still no race-car, step out of the petrol version and it does feel like a rocket.

In part that’s to do with the characteristics of the electric motor, which can deliver its full quota of torque from zero rpm. So it rips off the line and zips into gaps. In the context of city driving, which where we’d expect most e-Ups to spend their lives, it makes for a really great ally. It’s relaxing and easy in traffic – and really quite zippy and fun if you get the bit between your teeth.

Read more: Pocket Lint

Volkswagen e-UP (Image: VW)

2014 Next Green Car Awards fetes VW e-Up!, Tesla Model S

The California-made Tesla Model S was one of about a dozen models given props by the Next Green Car Awards. And the prizes ran the gamut between conventional, diesel, plug-in and battery-electric powertrains because who doesn’t like variety?

Leading off in the Next Green Car awards was the Volkswagen e-Up!, which took home the City Car award:

“With the e-up!, Volkswagen has produced a high quality, practical and affordable electric city car which is perfect for zero-emission urban driving where space is a premium.”

Americans may associate “Family Estate” cars with huge, fake-wood-paneled station wagons of the ’70s and ’80s (and with Clark Griswold), but NGC gave the Family Estate award to the far-more-fun Audi A3 Sportback e-tron plug-in hybrid.

“As the first plug-in hybrid estate car, the A3 Sportback e-tron perfectly combines conventional fuel practicality for long distance driving with zero-emission motoring for urban trips.”

The Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid, Nissan e-NV200 Combi and Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric were also all given props.

“The Outlander PHEV sets the SUV bar high offering plug-in capability for the price of a diesel. With a 5% BIK rate, you can see why the Outlander is the UK’s most popular plug-in hybrid.”

“With the e-NV200, Nissan has broken new ground offering an affordable and practical zero-emission alternative to the ubiquitous diesel van.”

“Powered by Tesla know-how, the Mercedes electric B-Class brings electric mobility to the compact MPV class for the first time. High on quality, long on range, and zero on emissions.”

Finally, the Tesla took home the top-of-the-line “Executive” prize.

“Simply the most beautiful and technologically advanced electric car on the market, the Model S combines a gadget-packed interior with an exhilarating electric driving experience.”

Read more: Autoblog, Next Green Car