Perusing the menu of cars Volkswagen sells in Europe can be a little disorienting, given that in the States VW seems intent on eking out every last dollar that it can from ICE cars like the Taos. Not so across the pond thanks to different government regulations. VW sells so many electric cars there that, on first glance, you might miss what could be the best of the lot, the E-Up!
The E-Up! is the electric version of the Up, a city car, which slots in below the Golf and is only sold in Europe. It has been around since at least 2009 as a concept before it went into production in 2013, quietly selling a few thousand a year to those with taste. It was never intended to be a volume car. And then 2020 hit, and EVs surged in popularity in Europe with help from government incentives.
The only problem was that the E-Up! was, at that level of demand, unprofitable, according to Automotive News, leading Volkswagen to take it off the market. And then the Renault Zoe, which stayed on the market, became a massive hit, with six-figure sales in 2020 and 2021. And now the E-Up! is coming back. Probably because VW figured out a way to make money on it.
From Auto News:
“We had temporarily taken the e-Up off the market in 2020 because delivery times had risen dramatically due to high demand,” VW said in an emailed statement to German IT news website Golem. “Now it has been decided to reintroduce the e-Up into the order program.”
According to a report published in Automotive News Europe sister publication Automobilwoche, the first dealers are already putting up lists for prospective buyers of the e-Up.
The electric car rental company Nextmove said the e-Up in the “Style Plus” version is about to make a comeback with a list price of about 26,500 euros ($30,000) and a range of roughly 250 km (155 miles).
The final customer price would be around 17,000 euros after government incentives offered in Germany.
I used to think that it’s useful to look at what Europe gets, with the expectation that the cars might come to the U.S. at some point — though I’m not sure that’s the case with all the cool small electric cars over there, since all anyone at the moment seems interested in the U.S is big electric cars. And hybrids. VW is no different, just offering the ID.4 here for now, though they also claim the ID van is coming, too, which is a start. The E-Up! would be even better, though at this rate, I would not count on it.