TopGear.com02 December 2013

Electric VW Up prices revealed

Volkswagen’s battery-powered e-Up will cost £19,250, does 93 miles on a single charge

Good news for Yorkshire environmentalists: VW has announced UK pricing for its all-electric city car, the reet good ‘e-Up'.

The battery-powered city car will cost £19,250 including the £5,000 government subsidy, making it just over eight grand more expensive than the petrol-powered Up it most closely resembles in specification.

Which means, in the cold light of numbers, you're paying a little over a thousand pounds per extra horsepower: the e-Up's electric motor produces 81bhp, while the three-cylinder petrol Up makes 74bhp.

Or, to slice it another way, eight grand to cut your 0-62mph time from 13.2 seconds to 12.4 seconds. Which, on the face of it, makes the e-Up a pricey purchase - even though, as VW is keen to point out, on top of the standard kit of the petrol ‘High Up', the e-Up also gets DAB digital radio, rear parking sensors and a nav unit that'll direct you to your nearest charging point.

But look at running costs rather than performance and the e-Up makes rather more sense. Plug it in at off-peak times and it'll cost pennies to 'refuel' - perhaps as little as two pounds for a full recharge, depending on your tariff. It also qualifies for a free tax disc and can be driven without charge in London's congestion zone.

VW says the e-Up's 230kg, 18.7kWh li-ion battery pack can be 80 per cent recharged in just 30 minutes using its Combined Charge System. Fully charged, the e-Up gives an official range of 93 miles.

Which - on Top Gear's well-established quids-per-mile-of-range metric - seems a little steep against the Nissan Leaf, which starts at £15,990 (including grant) and offers an official range of 124 miles.

However, the e-Up looks like good value against the Mitsubishi i-Miev, which costs £23,499 with an identical range - and the BMW i3 (the non-range-extender version), which costs £24,990 and does around 90 miles on a charge.

Which would you take, oh Yorkshire environmentalist?

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