Volkswagen up! set to go electric-only

VW’s city car will only be sold as an electric car due to stricter emissions legislation

Volkswagen e-up

Volkswagen is set to axe petrol versions of its up! city car, it has been confirmed. The switch to electric-only is motivated by forthcoming emissions regulations that will render petrol-powered versions of the up! too inefficient to pass. Exactly when the petrol up! will be withdrawn is unclear, but we suspect it will be in the next two years.

Volkswagen’s head of sales and marketing, Jurgen Stackmann, revealed that Volkswagen won’t be able to justify selling petrol versions of the up! for much longer.

Best city cars to buy in 2019

“The big question mark is: if the legal system is pursuing and implementing the legal regulations they have just confirmed, there is not a single business case for the cars the size of the up! – it’s just not possible.”

Volkswagen e-up rear

As a result, the electric version of the up!, called the e-up!, will become far more important. To succeed in the future, the e-up! will have to be less expensive and will probably need to offer more range. The current model costs over £23,000 and only manages 99 miles between charges. With EV technology improving so quickly, those figures look increasingly uncompetitive.

A hybrid or plug-in hybrid version of the up! was out of the question, as the car’s size means there’s no room for a battery and a conventional engine. Stackmann added that the margins on the e-up! are already very slim, but that the company had no choice but to focus on the model going forwards.

The e-up! is also too small to use VW’s MEB platform, which is underpinning most of the company’s other electric vehicles. The e-up! won’t be part of VW’s I.D. electric car range either, instead existing as a separate entry point into Volkswagen EV ownership.

Volkswagen hasn’t yet revealed when the petrol up! will be withdrawn from sale. However, considering most cars are sold for roughly eight years before being replaced, it could be dropped from the line-up next year.

This news also puts a question mark over the Skoda Citigo and SEAT Mii, as these cars share most of their components with the up!. Skoda may be unlikely to replace the Citigo due to poor sales, but SEAT has already started testing electric versions of the Mii. Whether either will be replaced is yet to be confirmed.

Read our review of the Volkswagen up!, or see where the e-up! features on our list of best electric cars.

Recommended

What is Volkswagen 4MOTION? Should you choose it?
What is VW 4MOTION
Volkswagen
9 Sep 2021

What is Volkswagen 4MOTION? Should you choose it?

New Volkswagen ID. Life concept previews affordable electric car
Volkswagen ID. Life Concept
Volkswagen
6 Sep 2021

New Volkswagen ID. Life concept previews affordable electric car

Top 10 best cars for students 2021
Skoda Fabia hatchback front 3/4 static
Best cars
3 Sep 2021

Top 10 best cars for students 2021

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace now on sale
2021 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace - front 3/4 dynamic
Volkswagen
12 Aug 2021

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace now on sale

Most Popular

New 2022 Toyota RAV4 Adventure revealed
Toyota RAV4 Adventure
Toyota RAV4
14 Sep 2021

New 2022 Toyota RAV4 Adventure revealed

Top 10 best small estates 2021
Skoda Octavia Estate
Skoda Octavia Estate
16 Sep 2021

Top 10 best small estates 2021

Ford Focus Active hatchback review
Ford Focus Active hatchback
Ford Focus Active hatchback
16 Sep 2021

Ford Focus Active hatchback review

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
10 Aug 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
3 Jun 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
15 Jun 2021

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
23 Jul 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2021
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021
Volkswagen ID.3
Best cars
12 Aug 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
10 Jun 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks
Mercedes AMG A45 - rear
Hot hatches
25 Jun 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks