Volkswagen has launched its first all-electric production car, the E-Up, to world media in Germany .
This is a car designed to use less than 12kWh of electricity to cover 100km – which, based on current German electricity costs translates to around R40 per 100km.
Launching at this week’s Frankfurt motor show (and reaching European showrooms next month), the Slovakian-built five-door baby hatch has a range of 160km – courtesy of an electric motor making 60kW and 210Nm. The E-Up is claimed to get to 100km/h from standstill in 12.4 seconds and reach a top speed of 130km/h .
Charging times depend on outlets used.
A conventional wall socket will take about nine hours, a special wall box from VW mounted in your garage will reduce this to six, while combined charging stations (which are being co-developed with other German carmakers) will get you 80 percent charge in just 30 minutes.
Obviously the driving range depends on how light-footed you are, but the car also has a number of Eco modes that sap power but increase range, in addition to mileage-boosting regenerative braking, with a host of displays in the cabin that keep you informed of how “green” your right foot is.
The lithium-ion battery pack lives inside the floor between the axles, meaning no sacrifice of cabin space, and providing a lower centre of gravity to aid handling.
The batteries add about 230kg, however, with the E-Up tipping the scales at 1139kg.
The electric Up is the first derivative of VW’s compact hatch I’ve driven and, planet-saving attributes aside, the car is nimble, funky and well-built, with looks that will appeal to the younger set. Power in this electric version goes through the front wheels via a single-speed gearbox, and without any of the eco modes at play it’s frisky off the mark and will briskly get you to highway cruising speeds.
Nothing’s been confirmed, but there are whispers in Wolfsburg hallways about the Up hatchback coming to SA in 2014 – with the idea being to slot it between the Polo Vivo and the Polo. The E-Up will probably not be part of the line up as it costs nearly €10 000 (R133 000) more than the range-topping petrol-powered version; going green doesn’t come cheap.
The Up will be at the Johannesburg International Motor Show next month. Look out for it. - Star Motoring
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