Volkswagen’s inauguration into the electric market will be this, the E-Up. Scheduled for launch at the end of next year, the model has 18kW batteries that can be charged in five hours, giving a range of 80 miles.
The E-Up will sit alongside electric and diesel versions of the Up city car and features a number of nods towards a full production model. The batteries in the concept are protected by a specially designed crash structure and are kept cool by a series of heat exchangers.
The electric system is compact and frees up room for passengers. The E-Up weighs just 1085kg - light considering the batteries alone weigh 240kg.
Solar panels measuring 1.4 square metres help to back up the batteries. The Up is shorter than a Fiat 500, but has the same wheelbase, with minimal front and rear overhangs.
Inside, the car has a three-plus-one seating arrangement, allowing two adults to sit on the passenger's side and a child to sit behind the driver. The total load space is 80 litres, rising to 320 litres when the seats are folded.
The E-Up is designed to offer a zero-emissions alternative for people who only drive short distances. “Cars with pure petrol and diesel engines – which in the foreseeable future will continue to be unbeatable for mid to long-range distances – will be supplemented by cars like the E-Up in coming years,” said VW Group boss Martin Winterkorn.