Published on September 9th, 2013 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


VW e-UP To Rival BMW i3


Volkswagen will target potential buyers of BMW’s battery-powered i3 city car with an electric version of its Up minicar as German automakers bet that emission-free vehicles are ready for the mainstream.

“We deliberately positioned the electric Up against the i3,” Rudolf Krebs, VW’s head of electric-powertrain technology, said this week. “The time is ripe to introduce electric mobility on a large scale.”

VW, which has a goal of becoming the world’s biggest carmaker, will present the e-Up and a battery-powered version of the Golf hatchback at the Frankfurt auto show next week. The e-Golf has a range of 190 km (118 miles) while the e-Up can travel up to 160km (99 km) on a full battery charge.

The e-Up will go on sale in October for 26,900 Euros in Germany, 23 percent less than the BMW i3. The e-Golf will hit showrooms next year. The new models enter a segment where automakers have struggled to win customers because of the high cost of the vehicles and driving ranges that are about one-quarter of conventional models. Volkswagen can manufacture the EVs in the same factories as cars with conventional engines, thereby saving costs and giving it an edge over competitors in the segment.


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