Volkswagen Unveils E-Up! Electric Car Concept at Frankfurt Motor Show

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VW premiered its spanking new EV concept, the E-Up!, at the Frankfurt Auto Show yesterday, and gave the strongest hint yet that the car will be very close to the production model available from 2013.

The E-Up! boasts acceleration to 62 mph in a fairly zippy 11.3 seconds and tops out at 84 mph, whilst its 18 kWh integrated lithium-ion batteries will enable a range of over 80 miles (see picture gallery after the jump).

The estimated charge-time doesn’t sound great though, VW say that drivers will be able to charge batteries to 80% capacity by using proposed public charging stations, while a European standard 230-volt domestic system would require a glacial charging time of around five hours, assisted by integrated solar roof panels.

According to the German car giant, the E-Up! draws its design inspiration from head of design Walter de Silva (responsible for the new Golf), as well as the up! concept showcased at the 2007 Frankfurt Show. The VW blurb gushes that the new E-Up! evolves the look with a distinctive ‘face’ and clean, minimalist lines complemented by intricate detailing around the front and rear lights.

An interesting feature is the E-Up!’s spacious interior, capable of carrying three adults plus a child. The novel 3+1 seating plan means two adults can sit on the passenger side of the vehicle with a small space on the driver’s side for ‘occasional’ use by adults or children. Reading between the lines, I reckon this seat is likely to be seriously uncomfortable for anyone under the age of five!

Speaking about the concept, Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Group said, “Cars with pure petrol and diesel engines – which in the foreseeable future will continue to be unbeatable for mid- to long-range distances – will be supplemented by cars like the E-Up! in coming years. And that will happen starting in 2013. The concept now being presented in Frankfurt very realistically shows how we envision such a Volkswagen with pure electric drive technology, visually and in terms of size.”

Image Credits: Volkswagen

 

Andrew Williams

is a writer and freelance journalist specialising in sustainability and green issues. He lives in Cardiff, Wales.