Volkswagen’s fully-electric car e-up! makes a comeback
21 February 2022
It is official: Volkswagen’s (VW) bestselling battery-electric vehicle (BEV) e-up! is back on the market after a hiatus of more than a year. Consumers in Germany can order the BEV again, which VW pitches as an entry model into electromobility.
The carmaker came under pressure from high demand, forcing it to temporarily stop taking new orders for the four-seater at the end of 2020. To date, the German manufacturer has sold 80,000 models worldwide. The car is particularly popular in its home market, where it has become a BEV bestseller.
VW is pushing heavily for electrification, aiming to be a leader of BEV sales in Europe, where delivery times for the e-up! reached up to 16 months. While the automaker had to pause orders in 2020, production continued throughout 2021, with the company having now processed the backlog.
VW bets on the mini-vehicle as part of its new automotive strategy that sets out to propel the marque into a more sustainable, software-centric mobility group. The carmaker is in the middle of transforming its manufacturing plants as production increasingly shifts to electric-drive systems.
‘The e-up!’s market success contributes to Volkswagen’s electric offensive. To date, the company has sold more than half a million all-electric vehicles worldwide – including the 263,000 new BEVs registered in 2021 alone,’ the group said in a statement. ‘As part of the “Accelerate strategy”, the proportion of BEVs is to rise to at least 70% of all VW brand deliveries in Europe by 2030. That is substantially more than one million vehicles. The company also intends to be net carbon-neutral by 2050.’
The e-up! Style Plus is available from €26,895 in Germany, with consumers benefitting from a government premium of €9,570. Because of this incentive, German automobile club ADAC dubbed the car a ‘bargain’ despite being considerably more expensive than its internal-combustion engine (ICE) counterpart.
The model comes with an electric-drive power of 61kW, with a maximum WLTP range of up to 258km. Other standard features include a CCS charging plug for fast charging, a lane-assist departure warning system, Climatronic air conditioning, a leather-trimmed multifunction steering wheel, and 15-inch ‘blade’ alloy wheels.
Boosting the 32.2kWh battery system to 80% takes about an hour with 40kW DC charging power. This varies on an alternating current, as the car takes around four hours on a 7.2kW point to reach the same level of charge.
Creating a buzz
As Europe’s largest carmaker, VW is eager to make a buzz in the realms of electrification. It recently hit the headlines with its funky ID. Buzz, the electric version of its iconic ‘Bulli’ that will hit European dealerships this autumn. The world premiere will take place on 9 March, with the five-seater being available in two versions.
The company is going through a final phase of trials of the ID. Buzz prototypes. ‘Before we start full production of the ID. Buzz, these final trials with vehicles practically matching the ultimate full-production specification provide us with indispensable input for the final fine-tuning,’ said Kai Grünitz, head of vehicle development at VW Commercial Vehicles.
While the ID. Buzz could not be more different to the e-up!, it shows the bandwidth of electric models the carmaker is pushing onto the market. Its bestselling BEV models in 2021 include the ID.4, ID.3, the Audi e-tron, the Skoda Enyaq iV, as well as the e-up! and Porsche Taycan.