Volkswagen wants to take on the Bmw i3 with the new e-Up

Article by Anita Panait, on September 6, 2013

Volkswagen now has an offering that would rival BMW’s i3 city car: the e-Up. This latest offering from VW is an electric version of its Up minicar and, according to the carmaker’s head of electric-powertrain technology Rudolf Krebs, they deliberately positioned the e-Up against the i3. He remarked that the “time is ripe to introduce electric mobility on a large scale.”

VW is planning to present the e-Up and an electric version of the Golf hatchback at the Frankfurt Motor Show set next week. The e-Golf and the e-Up have a respective range of 190 km (118 miles) and 160km (99 km) on a full battery charge, the carmaker said in a statement.

VW will start selling the e-Up will in October at a starting price of EUR26,900 ($35,500) in Germany – around 23 percent cheaper than the BMW i3. On the other hand, VW will roll out the e-Golf to dealerships next spring.

Volkswagen can build the e-Golf and the e-Up in the same sites as conventional models to save costs and provide it with an edge over EV segment rivals, Krebs said.

The e-Golf and the e-Up will enter a segment of the auto market in which carmakers have been having quite a hard time enticing customers, due largely to their high prices and shorter range than conventional models. Carlos Ghosn, chief executive of Renault-Nissan, remarked to Bloomberg in an interview that the carmakers will fail to achieve its sales target of around 1.5 million electric cars by 2016.

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