Volkswagen says it will unveil its first electric car, the Volkswagen e-up!, at the International Autoshow in Frankfurt, Germany.
Based on the automaker’s up! microcar that is popular in Europe, the e-up! will be a four-seat, four-door hatchback like the regular car, only it will be powered solely by electricity– a first for any Volkswagen. VW claims an estimated range of 150 kilometers, which works out to 93 miles. Once the batteries are depleted, they can be recharged to 80% capacity within 30 minutes, Volkswagen said.
An 80-horsepower electric motor will turn the front wheels. True to most electric motors, it provides ample torque to make up for what some drivers may see as its horsepower rating’s shortfall: The e-up! cranks out 154 ft-lbs of the stuff.
That’s not to say it’s a high-performance machine, by any stretch of the imagination. VW says its 0-62 MPH time is “within 14 seconds.” Such acceleration has been described as “glacial” by less kind autojournalists than our own. The top speed is less than thrilling for anyone who regularly travels on interstate highways: just 83 MPH. But hey, that’s fast enough to get you a speeding ticket on just about any highway in America.
Fueling the electric motor is a lithium ion battery pack integrated into the floor of the car. It has a total energy storage capacity of 18.7 kWh. Helping the e-up! squeeze the most from every single kWh of electricity is its light weight of just 2,612 lbs. An optional Combined Charging System (CCS) can accept either DC or AC charging methods, making it easier to find a charger that is compatible with the car, VW said.
Again, the e-up! will make its debut at the Frankfurt International Auto Show. That show is scheduled for September 10-22. Meantime, if Volkswagen passes along any more info about the e-up!, you’ll probably see it reported here.