The Volkswagen e-up! is one of the cheapest electric vehicles on the market. Throw in the usual operational savings of an electric car and you end up with a compelling total cost of ownership. Consumers are starting to catch on. Volkswagen reports that approximately 50% of up! sales in Germany are now e-up! sales.
The e-up! got a range boost from a bigger battery. It is now 260 km (160 miles) according to Europe’s WLTP rating system. (The up! is only available in Europe.) In the first three months of 2020, approximately 20,000 e-up! orders were placed.
The range of the vehicle is now at a somewhat acceptable base level. We conduct EV driver reader surveys every year. A few years ago, a decent portion of respondents indicated that a range of 150 miles was adequate for them. More recent surveys have shown higher range requirements, presumably in part because super-early EV adopters (current owners) have in large portion decided to buy a Tesla or other long-range EV next, whereas those weren’t on the market years ago. Many new buyers of EVs, getting their first one, may well be satisfied with 260 km and the more affordable entry price. Volkswagen adds:
“The low running costs are the crucial purchasing argument: In Germany, its manufacturer suggested retail price (€21,975) is reduced by an environmental bonus (€6,570, both gross amounts) and the German insurance categories are favourable (liability category: 12, fully comprehensive category: 16). And no charges are incurred for road tax or engine oil changes for the e-up!.”
Less encouraging, 1 out of every 7 Passat sales (15%) are sales of the plug-in hybrid Passat GTE. Nonetheless, there’s also good news there, as the plug-in model is seeing 5 times as many sales as its first version saw.
The newer Passat GTE also got a range boost. It now has a range of 56 km (WLPT) on electricity alone. Interestingly, Volkswagen highlights that the average Volkswagen customer in Germany drives only 42 km a day.
Progress? Yes. More progress needed? Yes. It’s great to see that more buyers are now choosing fully electric or plug-in hybrid variants of traditionally gas/diesel-powered models, but even better would be if the gas/diesel variants went away. And even better than that is going to be when Volkswagen prioritizes sales of its from-the-ground-up electric models and phases out 20th century vehicles altogether.
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