The VW e-Up! has been a staple of the electric vehicle market since 2013. When it first appeared, it gave us a great idea of what was to come in the future of electric vehicles. However, over the last decade, the e-Up! has gone through some pretty serious and impressive changes. At this point, the e-Up! could well be the perfect choice for those looking to get the most possible out of electric propulsion, especially when it's in its natural city habitat.
The e-up! is the electric version of the popular city car from Volkswagen. Sharing the neat design of its fuel-driven counterpart, the e-up! is surprisingly nippy and has a driving range of 99 miles. Perfect for everyday driving the new e-up is chargeable in as fast as 30 minutes at a public high-speed DC charging station. At home you can charge overnight in 6 hours with the Combined Charging System (CSS), which gives you two types of plug, so you have the choice to charge in the comfort of your home using either the domestic mains socket or a super-speedy wall box.
Out and about? Find your nearest charging station using the ZapMap, which lists thousands of charging points across the UK, there are more places than you'd think to charge your car out and about!
Thanks to new recuperation technology, the e-up! can now take the energy your car would normally lose through braking and use it to power the battery - so you recharge the battery every time you brake!
The five-door e-up! is a smartly fashioned car with body-coloured bumpers, door handles and (power-adjustable and heated) door mirrors. Stand-out features include a Blue and Chrome strip below the bonnet lip, signature 'C' lights around the door handles, wraparound headlights, bumper-positioned LED daytime running lights and 15-inch Tezzle alloy wheels – each contributing to an eye-catching front-end. Fog lights are located front and rear and an additional, high-level brake light is included too.
Sophistication inside and out
A fine ‘chessboard’ motif permeates the e-up!’s four-seat cabin. Flashes of chrome can be discerned on door handles and elsewhere. A split-grain leather-wrapped and height-adjustable steering wheel and a leather-trimmed gear knob and handbrake grip – each embellished with blue stitching – contribute to the stylish ambience of the interior. Other standard features include power-assisted steering, electric front windows, a heated rear windscreen and air conditioning. A 250-litre boot features discreet under-floor storage and overall capacity can be increased with rear seats folded.
One of the biggest changes between the initial release of the VW e-Up! and the newest iteration is the new lithium-ion battery with 36.8kWh capacity. This is compared with just 18.7kWh for the older versions. This means that the car itself has a far greater potential range with Volkswagen claiming that it can provide up to 161 miles (260km) on a full charge. This is a serious step up from a claim of 99 miles offered by the previous models. Not only that but the volume of the battery itself has been reduced by whopping 20 litres thanks to a switch from prismatic to pouch battery cells. The charging options remain as excellent as ever with a time of one hour to get to an 80 percent charge via a 40kW DC fast charge via the CCS socket, or four hours using a 7.2kW wall box.
The e-Up! features four levels of regenerative braking. The first three levels are accessed by flicking the gear lever to the left or right while the 'B' mode on the gear lever acts as the fourth level. When it comes to actually getting out onto the road, the e-Up! is every bit as responsive to drive as it's predeccessor, though there are certainly places where it's better suited than others. One of the most unexpected features of a car of this size is how well-weighted the steering is as well as how balanced the ride is in general. It's one of the most comfortable EV driving experiences available. Sure, it's not likely to be the ideal car to throw around at high speed, but that was never the e-Up!'s purpose in the first place.
A six-speaker sound system includes a DAB digital radio and a CD player. A 5-inch colour touchscreen provides audio and navigation functionality. Driver aids include an Anti-lock Braking System, City Emergency Brake, Rear Parking Sensors and Camera, Electronic Stability Programme, Anti-Slip Regulation, Electronic Differential Lock and Hill Hold. Among a range of passive safety features are seat belt reminders, ISOFIX anchor points and multiple airbags. Central locking and an electronic engine immobiliser help to keep the e-up! secure.
The e‑up! is no longer available to order
If you're looking to find the place where the e-Up! really shines then there are few better places to start than in the city. The city is the true home of the e-Up! and it's the place where you really feel the benefits of the car's size as well as the responsive handling. The 0-30mph sprint power that results from the EV powertrain makes it one of the best options available for getting around the big city. It has that extra zip that you really want from any EV when you're driving in towns and cities. That 0-60mph figure of 11.9 seconds might suggest that the e-Up! is slower than it's contemporaries but the instant torque that the engine provides means that not only are you able to make the most of your city driving experience but the e-Up! is also pretty adept at keeping up with other cars when you're driving on the motorway as well. Even at high speed, road noise is suppressed and the car borders on silent at lower speeds.
The e-up! now features a new app called 'Think Blue. Trainer.', which acts like your own personal driving coach, analysing your driving characteristics and letting you know what you can do to drive more efficiently. A great tool for 'at-a-glance' checks as you're driving.
You can also use the e-Manager to optimise your car's settings, just tell it when you're setting off, how much cargo you're carrying and what air-con settings you'd like and let the e-up! do the rest!
Need to use your phone to navigate? Use the 'Maps + More' app for 2D or 3D hands-free guidance via TomTom. Want to connect your phone or music? Not a problem! Stream your music or answer your calls on the go. Plus you can also use the app to find where you've parked, so no more walking around the entire car park to find your car, monitor your charge levels and even start or stop charging.e