Volkswagen eUp Electric cars are rising to the occasion Cars …

29 Апр 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Volkswagen eUp Electric cars are rising to the occasion Cars … отключены
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Volkswagen e-Up: Electric cars are rising to the occasion

HOW DO you feel about electricity? Unless you are one of those homeowners who watches their energy tariffs with a hawk-like eye for the best deal, the chances are your answer will be barely at all.


Ask how you feel about petrol or diesel and that is sure to provoke a very different response.

Rising oil prices, official fuel economy figures that are hard to match and the cost of filling your tank are all regular rants around the nation’s pub tables.

And that, in a nutshell, is the canyon of difference that the new breed of battery-driven cars like this new Volkswagen e-Up have to bridge.

On the face of it, this new electric version of the Up from VW looks much like the standard petrol-driven car both inside and out but is almost as far removed from that car in what it represents as a piece of cheese.

Stand alongside the new e-Up and the only tell-tales are a blue-tinted VW badge on the front and the extra letter on the tailgate.

Unlike BMW with its i3, the e-Up comes only in a single battery-driven form with no range-extender version available, which brings with it the usual range-anxiety issues of a car limited to a maximum 100-mile range (more of which later).

It also brings a hefty price tag too. Whichever way you cut it, £19,250 (after the £5,000 Government grant) is a lot to pay for a VW Up. Even the best-spec petrol-powered car costs £11,970 and do 67.3mpg average fuel economy.

That £7,280 difference will buy you a lot of motoring even before you start to take into account the battery-driven car’s better running costs.

One big advantage to the Up is that from its very inception, the baby VW was designed with this electric version in mind.

That means that the battery pack is neatly accommodated in the space where the petrol tank is on the conventional car and also underneath, so there’s no loss of boot space.

At the other end of the e-Up is a 60kW electric motor producing 80bhp which gives the VW a 0 to 60mph time of 12.4 seconds (faster than the petrol-powered version) and a top speed of 81mph.

As well as a standard driving mode the e-Up also has two economy driving modes, Eco and Eco+

As previously mentioned, the maximum range is 100 miles and a standard full charge via a household plug socket takes nine hours. If you can find a fast charge socket however that can provide an 80 per cent charge in just half an hour.

As well as a standard driving mode the e-Up also has two economy driving modes, Eco and Eco+ which reduce the electric motor’s peak power, modify the response of the throttle pedal and reduce (or disable) the heating and air conditioning.

Both help to increase that range as do the four differing levels of regenerative braking on offer.

Working much like the old dynamo on your bicycle, these help to put energy back into the batteries when you lift off the accelerator.

While the BMW i3 features an aggressive system that takes some getting used to the e-Up’s graduated system enables you to switch between the levels according to your driving conditions.

The top level however is as brutal as that on the i3 and almost enables you to drive without touching the brake pedal at all (although the top three levels do illuminate the brake lights for following drivers).

On the road that top level of regeneration soon becomes second nature and you adapt your driving style accordingly, reading the road ahead to maximise your momentum.

The main disappointment is that the standard Garmin sat nav does not have a power meter as on the Vauxhall Ampera.

That way if you were short on range on especially hot or cold days you could choose your in-car appliances according to their resulting effects.

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£19,250 grant) Electric motor — 80bhp 60mph in 12.4 top speed 100 miles 0g/km BMW i3, Leaf 9/10 During our drive, mimicing a cold start and using the heated front and rear screen, the heater and heated front seat, we lost 10 miles of range in a matter of just 1.7 real miles on the road.

By comparison, with all of those switched off and in Eco+ mode, the next 10 miles of range took a real 9.5 miles.

The message is clear with the e-Up, experience and time behind the wheel are everything to learn how to get the best from it.

Perhaps the biggest compliment you can pay the e-Up is that on the road it feels and drives little different to a standard Up. Except, that is, for that price.

Yes, the e-Up is well-equipped but for many that £7,280 difference to the very competent standard Up may just be a bridge too far.

That’s a shame because the Up is one of the best battery-powered cars we have driven. Take note, this could be the last time you think neutrally about electricity again.


Price: £19,250 (after Government grant)

Engine: Electric motor — 60kW/80bhp

Power: 0 to 60mph in 12.4 seconds, 81mph top speed

Maximum range: 100 miles

CO2 emissions: 0g/km

Rivals: BMW i3, Nissan Leaf

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