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Volkswagen premieres production e-Up

Up and running: The e-Up has a 60kW battery that can be recharged to 80 per cent capacity in 30 minutes.

Electric Up emerges but Volkswagen rules out EVs for Australia

Volkswagen logo15 Mar 2013

By TIM NICHOLSON

THE production version of Volkswagen’s all-electric e-Up has had its first showing ahead of an official debut at this year’s Frankfurt motor show in September this year.

Revealed at the German giant’s annual press and investor’s conference in Wolfsburg, the e-Up will be the first fully-electric vehicle to be sold by Volkswagen when it goes on sale in Europe later this year or early next year.

However, Volkswagen Group Australia general manager of communications Karl Gehling said there were no plans to bring the e-Up to Australia, adding that the local arm of the German car-maker was “not planning on offering any electric vehicles locally.”

This follows Volkswagen Australia’s confirmation that the recently revealed e-Golf electric car is also a non-starter for Australia.

The XL1 coupe plug-in hybrid that is capable of using just 0.9 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres and was shown at the Geneva show earlier this month is also unlikely to make it Down Under.

The battery range for the four-seat, four-door hatch is 150 kilometres, with Volkswagen marketing the e-Up as a city-friendly car or a second family car.

Powered by an electric motor that produces 60kW/210Nm torque, Volkswagen said the tiny hatch omits almost no noise and can sprint from zero to 100km/h in 14 seconds before hitting a top speed of 135km/h.

Volkswagen has placed the lithium-ion battery under the floor and it has a total energy storage capacity of 18.7 kilowatt hours, allowing the car to travel up to 150km on a single charge.

It takes up to 30 minutes to recharge to 80 per cent of the e-Up’s power capacity via the charging port which is hidden behind the fuel door.

Externally, the e-Up looks almost identical to the standard Up that went on sale in Australia in September last year, but gets curved LED daytime running lights in the front bumper, and Volkswagen said that the front end and underbody have been “aerodynamically optimised.”

Inside the e-Up, Volkswagen has included light grey seat covers with blue stitching as well as chrome and leather highlights throughout the cabin.

Another take on Volkswagen’s sub-light car, the chunky Cross Up crossover revealed in production form at the Geneva show last month has also been ruled out for Australia.

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