What should I be paying?
There’s no trimline set-up for the e-Up, no ‘White Edition’ or R-line or GTI. It’s just the one-size fits all e-Up. You get alloy wheels, cruise control, lane-departure warning, climate control and heated seats all thrown in as standard. The retail price is, after the £3k plug-in grant, still the most you’ll pay for any Up: it’s £20,195. Still, that’s a £2,000 price cut on the previous model, and undercuts the cheapest Mini Electric by around £4,000. It’s also usefully less than the five-door Renault Zoe.
At the time of writing (April 2020) VW’s finance offers were also competitive: put down a £4k deposit and for 10,000 miles a year and a 36-month repayment, monthly payments came down to some £250 per month. Drop that to 5,000 miles per year – you’re unlikely to be knocking up business rep miles in one of these - and that drops to £245 a month. For comparison, on the same terms VW will offer a five-door Up 1.0-litre for £100 a month less. Of course, running costs would close that gap significantly.
VW claims a 159-mile range for the e-Up on the WLTP cycle. Realistically, you’re looking at 110-120 miles in respectful daily use. We saw charge drop alarmingly in motorway use, as the e-Up battled its bluff face though the air at a speed close to its v-max, but in town the range meter could be coaxed back up as though a perpetual motion machine was under the bonnet. Using the heated seats instead of the heater itself also proved to be far more efficient for comfortable winter commuting.
Charging is handled via a port where the fuel filler neck would ordinarily live, and it’ll go from flat to full in four hours on a 7kW wallbox. VW trumpets that CCS DC fast-charger will juice the battery 80 per cent in under an hour, but given they’re mainly found at motorway service stations, they’re hardly likely to be a common e-Up stomping ground.
Could you get away without investing in a wallbox? Potentially, but there’s not much room for error. The regular three-pin socket charging time from flat is around nine hours, so if you diligently plugged it in overnight you might get away with charging up slowly. Perhaps in summer at least.