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back to article Gid E-Up? Vulture's claw presses pedal to metal on VW's 'leccy motor

After the driving the Citroen C-Zero, the Volkswagen e-Up! is a fantastically different experience. It shouldn’t be quite so much better, as the VW is cheaper (£19,704 as opposed to £21,216 – both prices including rebates) yet while the Citroen is clearly engineered to a price – albeit a typically electric twice the internal …

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They are getting closer

Double the range and take 5k off the price and the purchase electric cars will kick off properly.

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Car gets 2 year warranty?

How can in 2014, a [very small] car with just an electric motor get just 2 years warranty?! I thought manufacturers were aiming for 5, 8 or even 10 years on their IC engined cars? How has it suddenly dropped to 2?

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Re: Car gets 2 year warranty?

Manufacturers such as Kia might be giving out long warranties but it's probably more as a marketing technique to get people to trust the longevity of their products (which are generally very good). VW doesn't need to do this marketing so probably chooses to save money in the future by not offering long warranties. Do what you need to sell the product rather than do everything you can to keep the customer happy.

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Anonymous Coward

Will they be doing a Northern version

Called A-up?

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Bronze badge

Re: Will they be doing a Northern version

Oh, silly name? No-one has ever mentioned that before.

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Re: Will they be doing a Northern version

The review you've linked to says it all, really. Currently electric cars are at about iPhone 3, call us when they get to 5.

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Re: Will they be doing a Northern version

So, Mr. Keyboard warrior- are you capable of articulating the reason for the thumb down? If you disagree that current electric cars are really at the expensive market testing stage and have a way to go before they become really practical, perhaps you'd like to enlighten us as to why?

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Is that it?

That would be useless for me, the range wouldn't even cover my daily commute, and with lights, wipers, etc.. I am not sure it would handle one direction.

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Anonymous Coward

not sure it would handle one direction.

A car with musical taste.

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Silver badge

Re: Is that it?

My round trip commute is a sniff under 50 miles, mostly town driving so it would suit me beautifully.

... unfortunately my weekend driving is typically 100 miles :(

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"If the battery is fully charged, no regenerative braking occurs."

... so I can go for the left pedal, and get much less than I expect based on the last time I braked? Don't fancy that much.

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Re: "If the battery is fully charged, no regenerative braking occurs."

With a suitable control system you shouldn't notice any difference but you raise a good question.

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Re: "If the battery is fully charged, no regenerative braking occurs."

Then push the pedal harder?

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Re: "If the battery is fully charged, no regenerative braking occurs."

The question is whether a £20000 electric car would have a suitable control system. It would need integration of the the pedal pressure and the expected level of regen, i.e. when going downhill at a controlled rate, the engine would need to be driven in reverse if regen stopped, and when braking the engine would need to be driven in reverse to compensate for the lack of regeneration.

Does anybody have a contact at VW they can ask?

Final point; is anybody in the 45% tax band really concerned about saving tax to the extent they they would choose a tiny VW as a company car? Around here it's mostly big Audis, BMWs, and the odd Mini or Fiat 500 for the wives.

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Re: "If the battery is fully charged, no regenerative braking occurs."

They're not offered to us - although we can have any diesel VW in the range - probably because the battery capacity makes it impossible to use one on company business. One of our main sites is 80 miles from head office, the other is 90 miles. You couldn't get there and back in a day unless they fitted a load of rapid DC chargers and dedicated bays at each site.

So you'd need to persuade the company to let you have one as a second car and use a private dino-fuelled car for longer business trips, which would probably make the fleet manager's head explode. Good luck getting that 0% BIK.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "If the battery is fully charged, no regenerative braking occurs."

Oh for crying out loud!?

If the battery is full, where is the regen energy going to be stored?

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Anonymous Coward

"Once upon a time the Golf was the small VW"

If it was ever the "small VW" it was only for a brief period between '74 and '75, before the Polo was launched. Remember them?

Oh, and they haven't used the "VAG" name since 1992.

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Silver badge

With that much power through the front wheels via a single-speed gearbox I would have expected some torque steer but, perhaps because the wheels are narrow, there wasn’t any.

Generally speaking torque steer is a function of the geometry of the front suspension and drive train. In general torque steer results with unequal length shafts the shorter one is more stiff and hence gives more bite. Typically manufacturers increase the diameter of the longer shaft, make the longer shaft solid and the shorter hollow or tweak the suspension to compensate. In the higher end cars, and becoming increasingly more common in across the board, they just use an intermediate shaft to center the differential so the two sides are equal. With the electric motor perhaps it's easier to match the two sides whereas a traditional engine on one side transmission on the other front drive layout makes it difficult to have equal length axle shafts. The single-speed gearbox likely makes a rather compact unit removing the need for an intermediate shaft to bring the differential back to the center.

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Thank you

This is the stuff which makes Reg Commentards (not a derisory term) so wonderful.

I once drove a Peugeot 205 1.6 which had been turbocharged, it torque steered like a pig. I got out and told the garage which was selling it that it had ruined a very sweet car. I bought an Integrale instead.

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Silver badge
FAIL

Really?

"you couldn’t then switch the air-conditioning on"

That sure as hell would not fly in Florida... there would be huge lawsuits.

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Re: Really?

I would like to be defending lawyer.

Your honor, this car can have a status where one can not open the door. The technical term for this status is "locked". When the car is in this "locked" status, one can not open the door. In order to open the door, the cars status has to be changed to "unlocked".

This can can have another status where one can not switch on the airco. The technical term for this status "eco+". When the car is in "eco+" status, the airco can not be switched on. On order to switch the airco on, the cars status has to be changed to "eco" or "standard".

Oh, and one more thing, the cost of the lawsuit should be on mr. Gene Cash, don't you agree?

I rest my case your honor.

Where can I collect my cheque?

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In a VAG

Didn't VW Group drop the name "VAG" in 1992?

Some American prude was offended.

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all-but-free fuel?

Charging at 2.3 kW for 9 hours would consume just over 20 kWh of leccy, which would cost around £2.50 assuming a tariff of 12p per kWh.

In comparison, a journey of 90 miles in a conventional Up! at 60 mpg would cost around £8.80 assuming petrol at £1.30 per litre.

The fuel costs for the electric journey are a great deal less, but considerably short of free.

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Charging times versus battery capacity sound suspect

VW say that the range is 90 odd miles.

To my way of thinking that means, driving on a perfectly flat road, at 60 mph it will take an hour and a half to exhaust the battery. The motor is supposed to be 60kw which means the battery must hold 90kwh - sounds reasonable!

However they say that charging the battery with a 2.3kw charger will take 9 hours or 6 hours with a 3.8kw charger - which equates to roughly 20kwh battery capacity ie approx 20% of the power that is needed to do the full range!

To charge the battery fully should take closer to 50hours i.e. two days!!!

So I can do my commute (about 70 miles) on monday and then I have wait until thursday before the battery is charged enough to go back to work again - my boss is going to love that!!

In fact if it takes 5 times longer tpo fully charge the battery then the cost of the electricity if over a a tenner - remind me how electric cars are cheaper to run?

Am I missing something?

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Re: Charging times versus battery capacity sound suspect

You assumed that to do 60mph on a flat road the motor would be operating at 60kw (maximum output).

I think that was what you missed.

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WTF?

Re: Charging times versus battery capacity sound suspect

OK, let's change the point of view.

Assuming that the capacity is 20kWh (it has to be less than 2.3*9), and the speed is 60mph, the promised 93m range will be completed in a little over 1.5h. Divide the capacity by that calculated time and you get a continuous power rate of less than 13kW for motion. Subtract some for lights, wipers etc.

I'm not surprised that the experienced reviewer baulked at doing a 50m round trip, even with a relatively new battery. What's the range going to be after 8 years of use?

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Re: Charging times versus battery capacity sound suspect

Apparently 10-20HP is required for steady-state driving at 60mph (I've seen such figures on a dyno when holding a fixed speed at low-ish load). 13kW is around 17.4HP, so not unrealistic for calculating the advertised range.

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Taxing energy

At the moment, governments can heavily control and tax automotive energy. It strikes me that when electric cars become ubiquitous, this becomes much more difficult.

This techology could become as disruptive to this sort of taxation as the Internet has become to censorship, because it's much less feasible to heavily tax all electrical energy distribution.

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